Friday, December 12, 2008

'Tis the Season

For Santa! The Riverdale Library (one room) had Santa and Mrs. Claus and it was perfect for Megan's first visit because there were no long lines and she did exactly what I thought she was going to do -- get really concerned and then cry. She was only concerned until she turned around and got a good look at Mr. Claus and the result was all out help me! She calmed down once I was holding her again poor thing!

For Snow! Michigan weather is apparently going to set a record for snowfall in December. I love snow, but this is not exactly thrilling. We made a snowman to stand in for Chopper for our Christmas cards (the real one is much cuter), and then walked around showing Megan the trees and everything. She really had to examine of course and my mom got this ADORABLE picture of her. I think it's my new favorite. Can you believe this madness?

For football! Grandpa's teaching her "touchdown" and she does pretty good. Although she crosses her fingers (what's she lying about)? Chopper will be so happy except for one little problem: she only does touchdown for Grandpa!

For Christmas! And the monster is completely thrilled by all things Christmas. She loves the music, LOVES the presents, and LOVES the decorations. Even when we go in stores and she sees trees or hanging wreaths and things she does her excited grunt/scream thing.

I do love the holidays and we definately have Christmas spirit going on!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Overdue Update

Next time I go to the library I'll have to add pictures -- I've got a ton of cute ones! But I thought an update was well overdue in the meantime.

Probably the smallest I've had in a while! Just me, my parents, Megan of course (who didn't eat anything by the way) and my brother Mark who lives in Chicago. It was a very nice Thanksgiving but I have to admit that I think I like it when they are crowded and noisy and bustling! Don't you love the word bustling?

Megan has developed some fun tricks and refuses to develop the ones I want her to (like eating a variety of foods and crawling -- my arms are nice and firm though!). She can now wave and do touchdown -- although her arms aren't straight up. She has also discovered Cheerios, which means that Arthur (my parents' dog) has also discovered Cheerios and the sound that just getting the box open makes. She loves them. Grandma also gave her potato chips today which she ate without any hesitation. Wish she would do that with green beans, peas, oh well, any vegetable really. What's ironic about that is that my mom is somewhat of a health nut too . . . but I guess every grandparent should get to spoil them a little bit right?

We continue to be in limbo with Chopper's job but he FINALLY sees a doctor Friday so I'll add more after that hopefully. And we've had two snowfalls and today's was pretty hefty. Christmas is definitely in the air!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Movie

Last night we watched a movie called "The Great Debaters" (can't find my italics key) and it was really really good. It has Denzel Washington and it's about the first black college in Texas to debate (eventually) Harvard in the 1930's. It's inspired by a true story and one of the characters, James Farmer Jr., I later realized became a professor at my alma mater -- Mary Washington College! He was one of the 4 main leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. It is somewhat graphic because they show violence against African-Americans and some sexuality (not a lot at all though) but it was fabulous! I highly recommend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy (belated) Halloween!

I know it's been a week but my computer issues have been massive and annoying so I finally discovered that the local library (1 room and an actual card catalog if you can believe it!) has high-speed internet on their computers to the public so VOILA!!! I'll finally be able to post at least (hopefully) about once a week.

So Halloween was completely uneventful -- no trick or treating or even trunk or treating or a ward (branch actually) party. So Megan was dressed up, I took about 50 pictures (I'm not kidding) and that was it! So here is her royal cuteness:

and I have to say that yes, I did make her poodle skirt. And I'm in the process of making her a courderoy jumper for Christmas (although she may have to wear it sooner). I couldn't resist the fabric and the pattern.

As for the rest of us -- well it's been a trying experience actually. Don't get me wrong, being with my parents has been great and Megan has really taken to them. Being apart from Chopper has been hard, especially when our future is so up in the air. Life is a roller coaster for sure.

Hey but I've read some great books actually -- The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig. Is a really good read although a little bit wordy and hard to follow in some places. The frame narrative is confusing (and not really necessary) but once you get into it, it is really good!

Friday, October 24, 2008

In a Nutshell:

So these are the highlights of the trip in case any of you are planning on going the same way in the near (or far) future:

1. Thank you to all the truckers who kept Megan entertained and they didn't even know it! They were the biggest thing on the road and she was fascinated watching them drive by.
2. We played tag with an old RV called the "Wanderlodge" which we first saw billowing black smoke in Billings, MT as it tried to make it's way up a hill. Then we passed it again in Bozeman (strike that -- switch the cities) and laughed at seeing it again. THEN WE SAW IT AGAIN IN SIDNEY, NEBRASKA! What are the odds?
3. 25 south through Wyoming -- not so pretty.
4. 80 east is though. Lots of farm country with fields and hills and not too many trees. Chopper said about twenty times, "now this is Americana" or some version of that statement.
5. We saw signs for a few historical places but did not stop: Little Big Horn, site of Custer's Last Stand and Independence Rock were probably the most notable. Oh and the birth places of Buffalo Bill and Ronald Regan. However, we did stop at the World Headquarters of Cabela's in Sidney, Nebraska -- go figure. As a history teacher, I am ashamed to admit this.
6. I still love trees and it was wonderful to see more and more with their colors in full fall regalia. However, I already miss mountains. Can you believe it?
7. Megan was a doll. I think she weathered 4 days in the car better than I did!
8. My parents live in the middle of nowhere and it's just been Megan and I and my dad (dear old Grandpa now which is really weird by the way). My mom is in California at DISNEYLAND and that's just wrong.

Nothing else really to report I think. No major disasters or anything thank goodness and the site-seeing was pretty much nonexistent since we were on a deadline so no really great pictures either (which would probably take me an hour to upload). Probably the next time I post will be Halloween because I am going to dress Megan up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We're Here!

Ok going back to dial-up is like Chinese water torture. It's taken me 22 minutes to check my email and get to this point! So this is short even though I have a lot I want to say.

Briefly, we had a good trip and arrived in Michigan Monday night. Chopper drove to Virginia yesterday and reports on Friday. He'll be in Georgia now until Feb. 3! That's a longer time than we thought but I guess the silver lining is that we'll be here when my brother Jeff comes home from his mission so he'll get to meet Megan finally!

I know there are some comments that need to be read so I can send some of you contact information: thank you! I'll get to it over the next few days -- plus I have to figure out how to download pictures onto a mac. But we're here!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On the Road Again

And thus the reason that I have titled this blog the "Wandering" Whittacres. Friday, Chopper and I are driving out of Missoula for life in the east. He's taking a job with the US Capitol Police in Washington D.C. I'll be spending a few months at my parents in Michigan while he trains in Georgia (which by the way is NOT fair. I have to have Michigan winter and he gets Georgia winter!), and then hopefully we'll be back together in DC probably sometime in February.

So what does this mean for you? I already sent an email with our address and phone details. If you didn't get it, that probably means that I don't have your address!! I've enabled comment moderation on this blog so that I have to approve all comments before they post. If you want that information but didn't get it, leave me a comment with your email and I'll send it to you and then reject your comment and no one will be the wiser! If you never want to hear from us again -- now is your opportunity! :)

Also, I think the blog is going to slow down some. My parents have dial-up (blech!) so slow will be the name of the game for me. Although I'll have to post pictures -- Megan is going to be a doll in her Halloween costume and then we have Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . so much fun and cuteness to be had!

Once we get settled, you know ya'll (might as well start the southern now) are welcome to come and stay with us and we'll give you a tour and all the great spots to eat, etc. Spring is nice because the cherry trees and dogwoods are in bloom . . . and fall for the leaves . . . and the seafood . . . and the beach . . . and the history . . . am I tempting you enough?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just thinking

about our cross-country travels. We've had some interesting experiences, that's for sure.

* On I-40 in Texas there is this massively big cross surrounded by a bunch of smaller crosses. And I do mean massively big. And it's in the middle of nowhere.
* On I-90 we took a day and went to Mt. Rushmore. Little did we know that the local town of Sturgis was having it's annual bike rally that day. I've never seen so much leather in all my life!
* I-90 is exceptionally beautiful -- especially La Crosse, Wisconsin. But beware -- from Pennsylvania to the end of Chicago they will toll you to death.
* One time on our way home from California we decided to detour slightly and go see the London Bridge in Lake Have-a-cow (whoops Havasu), Arizona. Interesting to say the least, especially the little British tourist village underneath. Chopper and I were both in the bathroom (separate ones which almost makes it funnier) when we were accosted by Japanese tourists who didn't understand that voices yelling "OCCUPIED" from the stall meant that someone was in there.
* We were idiots and did not detour to see the Grand Canyon.
* Chopper wants to me to post that we intended to go see the Dr. Pepper factory in Waco, Texas but I refused (stongly -- I don't remember why) and we had the biggest fight of our marriage in Subway's parking lot. But we weren't driving together so that was probably good.
* Speaking of which, we have never driven cross-country in the same car AND we just barely got a cell phone. We've done walkie-talkies instead. How talented are we??!!
* We spent the 4th of July one year driving through Memphis, Tennessee. That was really cool to watch the fireworks go off. Most of the cars on the bridge had pulled over though which made traffic a little dicey.
* On a related note (although not a drive), we flew into Salt Lake City one time on the 24th of July (Pioneer Day) and watched fireworks from the plane.

I'm actually getting excited for this next trip . . . (hint, hint)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


It's been a while because I've been reading the new book in the Eragon TRILOGY: Brisingr. Once again, I am extremely annoyed! Can I not find a decent book to read?

What annoyed me the most was the fact that I got to the end of the book and what was supposed to be a trilogy has apparently turned into a cycle (set of 4). The author says in his acknowledgements that the third book was becoming so long (it's still 700 pages) that they broke it into two. Here's the thing. I read the 2nd and 3rd back to back but it's been a while since I read the first. He is a big fan of putting in all of these details and events that are really irrelevant to the story. I literally feel as if I'm following Eragon's every move -- even down to which berries he chooses to carefully eat at each meal. There is so much that I would've cut and then it WOULD have been a trilogy and one where it doesn't just get good in the last 100 pages!

Not to mention the fact that this guy is a prime example for writing with a thesaurus next to him. Now I'm all about a well-developed vocabulary and I have been called to the carpet before for using words people didn't know but there comes a point where it's just too much and he crosses that line I think.

I'm sorry that the last two books I've blogged about have been rants rather than praise. Maybe the next one will be fantabulous . . . anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

True Missoulians

I believe that you have to fit into one of the following categories in order to truly belong in Missoula:

1. Ride a moped (preferably with a strange furry hat on your head)
2. Be a Democrat (Chopper refers to the city as "in the tank" for Obama.)
3. Like eccentric and eclectic art (cowboys riding trout has been our favorite so far)
4. Decorate your home and/or yard with aforementioned art (iron dinosauer eating a skeleton is one of the best by far but close runner-ups include life-size aluminum animals and furniture made from antlers)
5. Be a University of Montana Grizzlie fanatic (emphsis on fanatic)
6. Go hiking and/or camping A LOT.

Chopper and I finally fit in -- no no he's not voting for Obama (Erika stop laughing -- the kids need to concentrate!). After a long dry summer without camping (not my idea of fun to hold Megan 24 hours straight while fighting mosquitoes and fire pits) we went on an actual hike today. We found a baby backpack for a great price and tried it out! It's too bad Missoula was hazy because the view was awesome and it was nice to just get out and about a little bit. I wish that we could explore more of Montana this way but it is getting colder and I highly doubt we'll be here next summer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy First Day of Fall!

Ok I'm not sure happy is the word. There are definitely a lot of good things about fall: changing leaves, hot apple cider, Halloween, bonfires; but it just seems like it came too quickly this year. Maybe because winter lasted until June. Megan and I took a walk the other day and saw some beautiful colors starting to come out.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Go Griz!

Today is homecoming for the University of Montana Grizzlies and Missoula is fanatical! We took Megan to the parade and she did really well of course because there was so much to look at! But I have to say that Idaho State's homecoming parades are better. Maybe it was because we actually cheered for ISU and knew people in the parade, etc. or maybe it was because they could throw candy at you. Missoula has an anti-throwing candy rule that gets you kicked out of next year's parade if you do. How ridiculous is that? But we did have a good time.
Not so sure about this whole parade thing -- especially the drums. They were kind've loud.
Of course when Chopper's in charge of the camera the thing he takes a picture of is the WWII jeep with the 50 cal (whatever that is) on the top. We have no idea who the people are that they are gunnin' for (hahaha).
There was a Gaelic group -- I'm sorry but I love bagpipes! Of course, that's in moderation and at appropriate times . . . like parades.
Megan got a balloon! That was almost more fascinating than the parade itself. It moved, it was touchable, and it was LICKABLE! I hope she doesn't have a latex allergy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just a good Friday

Today was just one of those perfect days that needs to be recorded.

Megan slept in long enough that we were able to go to Tiny Tales at the library. Usually she's napping during that time. She was more interested in watching the other kids (it's for birth to 3 years) than the actual story but I really think she enjoyed it and I enjoyed being around other moms of young children. THen we went to Joanns and the remodel is almost finished. Even though it's only half done, it's awesome! They're expanding their stock and it's light and clean. It's going to be wonderful! Sigh. So I bought the stuff for Megan's Halloween costume. She is going to be adorable! I want to get started on it but I'm afraid if I do it now she'll grow too much in the next month and a half. Decisions, decisions . . .

After Megan's nap we got the mail and played with it (envelopes with plastic windows are the best -- they have that extra crinkle) and then spent about a 1/2 hour sitting outside blowing bubbles. It was a gorgeous cool afternoon and Megan loved the bubbles and gave me plenty of excited scrunch faces for them!

Then Chopper came home from work with a baby backpack he picked up for $8! You can't beat that with a stick!

Just one of those good days!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just a Few Moments

These are the ones I'm trying to sear into my memory for recall when she's two, seven, and thirteen and driving me crazy.

I know this looks like she is enjoying carrots, but I think she's enjoying the fact that they are not IN her mouth. I still cannot get this girl to want to eat ANYTHING. She'll open up to drink from a cup in a heartbeat but come near her with a spoon and it's I don't think so.
Megan has been capable of rolling for a while but I think now she understands that she can do it when she's on her stomach. There goes tummy time. It takes her approximately 4 seconds to flip over and she grins hugely the whole time she does it. She is such a little stinker.
This is classic scrunch face and if you look very VERY closely you can see her bottom teeth which are adorable and also terribly painful . . .
I'm so mad about this picture because it is ADORABLE but if you'll notice it's oddly colored and very grainy. My camera has stopped flashing. It's been on the fritz for a while but now . . . I even took this picture with the flash ON, not the auto flash if it needs it. I tried doctoring on the computer but there's only so much you can do with a picture that starts out black. Literally. I guess I know what's going on my Christmas list!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I can't believe I forgot

Yesterday was 9-11. Chopper and I did watch the dedication of the memorial at the Pentagon on TV but it really wasn't until then that I really remembered. And then MSNBC played the footage from that day and that really brought the memories back. But then it makes me think, with everything going on -- why would you even want to be President? You know how little kids always say they want to be President? I definately think it's a job I would forgo (sp?) if it were handed to me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peer Pressure

I gave in. I jumped on the bandwagon or off the cliff. Whatever you prefer.

I read the Twilight saga.

My niece Chelsea was generous enough to loan me all of the books with her very high recommendations and since so many people have just been raving about them I figured why not? It was kind've nice to be able to read them one right after the other too.

But it has been a very long time since I've been this conflicted about a book. And I find it kind've hard to articulate so here's part of my thinking about this series at least.

The Good
1. They were certainly gripping books. The first one started slow I thought but the others were a lot more intense. I had a really hard time putting them down -- in fact, I read them all in 6 days. Poor Chopper. And poor me -- not much sleep going on.
2. I thought that the characters were good. Some of them annoyed me enough to really be 3-dimensional. But overall I had very clear pictures -- pictures that did NOT match the preview I saw for the movie of the first book.

The Bad
1. I'm sorry but they were a little teenager for me. Until I got to the 3rd book. And then I thought they were books I wouldn't want my teenager to read because they were too adult. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good romance but not when it's a romance novel. I prefer things a little more subtle and . . . mature.
2. How many times do I have to hear that Edward is so beautiful she can't look away? Or be mesmerized by his beauty or something? Is there nothing more substantial to this relationship than good looks? I guess I'm not ready to be a vampire. Bella's insecurity with her looks I know is something real but I did not like the fact that it was resolved by her change to a vampire and becoming super-model gorgeous like the rest of them. But stuff like that has always bothered me, I think because of my own insecurities.
3. The love triangle. Having never been involved in one myself I found it somewhat ridiculous. Maybe that's an experience I would have to have in order for it not to annoy me to death (ha ha). And then the way that was resolved! I should've known. I almost stopped reading at that point because, seriously . . .

I won't continue in this vein (I am also having a really hard time avoiding the vampire/blood/dead puns and that's probably fairly painful for most of you), but there were a lot more things that I think I took issue with rather than loving them so much. Oh I forgot . . .

The Ugly

1. Would someone please get this girl a new editor? I felt like I was reading a very long 9th-grade paper. Ok I guess it wasn't that bad, everything was spelled right, but professionals should be better at this!
2. Titling. I thought the last one, Breaking Dawn, fit very well. The rest? Random.

Again, I'm really really sorry if you just loved them -- maybe I shouldn't be so honest about them but . . . to each his own right? I do have to admit, I was glad that I read them and satiated my thirst, uh, curiousity. (I had to get that in somehow!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Adios Elder Gasser!

My baby brother has gone on his mission. He'll be spending 2 months at the Missionary Training Center learning Spanish and then it's off to Pocatello, Idaho for 2 years. I was able to drive down to Salt Lake City and take him to the MTC in Provo and I'm really glad I did. I can't believe though how adult he already looks!

The drive down was fairly uneventful. Execpt for the snow. On September 1st. Not just in the mountains, on the ground. I have to get out of Montana.

This is James (now Elder Gasser), me, Denise (my sister-in-law) and my brother Danny. We all went to the Temple together the night before he left. It was a wonderful experience to be there with my brothers -- I can't even describe how wonderful it is to be close to your siblings and know that they have happy, full lives!

Of course I cried when I dropped him off. And I didn't just drop him off. I went inside and sat through the welcome thing and it was just nice to be there with him. He didn't want me to take any pictures but I told him Mom would kill me if I didn't and then he wouldn't get any care packages!

When I left SLC, I stopped in Pocatello and saw my friends and colleagues. This darling girl is Lillian -- my friend Maeli's daughter. She is one week older than Megan even though she was due two weeks after I was!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A bad sign

For those of you who know me from my childhood, you might remember that I am NOT, I REPEAT NOT athletic. In high school I actually played some sports though -- I started with field hockey which I loved but was horrible at and quit after one year because I knew I would be a senior on the junior varsity team. SO then I ran cross-country and track and I wasn't bad but, mind you, all I did was run. I did not do hurdles, jumping, anything involving any apparatus. I HATE sports with balls -- especially volleyball. HATE HATE HATE. They hurt me!

Regardless, I keep up with a couple sites online that have good ideas of games to play because the same old get really boring for me. Not for Megan of course. And I've been reading that now is a good time to start with balls -- rolling, kicking, etc. And Megan does like to kick.

So we're at Walmart and they have no small balls but a ball is a ball right? So I bought her one of those $1 bouncy balls that they always have a huge bin of every summer. We get home and start rolling and . . . Megan starts crying. I am not kidding. But she is tired so she goes down for a nap and while she's sleeping I sew her a ball and then stuff it. Maybe she wants something smaller and softer. After the nap, we play with ball #2 . . . and she starts crying.

My poor baby! I'm so sorry I gave you my genes! At least she got my good looks -- oh wait, they're Chopper's!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Stats are in!

You know, it's a shame that even having exposure to my genes will render Megan unathletic. She's going to be a tall one! If the stats for 6 months are any indication:

Length: 27" (75%)
Weight: 17# (50%)
Head: 17 1/8" (I have no idea)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Teeth are Bustin' Out All Over!

Remember that nursing strike? Well, it seems that teethin' is the reason! Can you blame me for not realizing? Overall Megan has not been a drool machine (she was worse at 3 months) and she hasn't been too cranky except for the eating thing. But yesterday she was sitting with Chop and started chewing on his arm (she has been chewing quite a bit) and he says it feels different. Lo and behold, you can feel some little points on her bottom gum and if you can manage to get a look, you can see 2, count them TWO little white teeth coming through. I can't believe it! I'll post a picture when I can. Right now if you pull her lower lip down she sticks her tongue out so you can't see anything anyway.

By the way, it's the bottom two front, not the top. Does anyone have a nickname for that? Bucky and Beaverface just won't work!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blog Stalker

I admit that I have become somewhat of a stalker. In addition to keeping up with friends and family, I've started fandomly clicking on other people's blogs. Is that weird? I don't spend a ton of time doing that because I don't know anyone but I have to say that I have found through other people lots of crafty and mom-ish blogs that are really interesting. It's fun too to check on other family that I don't really keep up with but just to see every once in a while.

Then I realized that I'm the only one in my family who does this. I know my friends who check probably don't really care but I thought it might be interesting for aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. to know what's going on with all of them. So I'm going to post a sidebar that kind've keeps up on what my brothers and parents are doing I think. Because I do think it's great what they're all doing with their lives.

Plus, I feel kind've like it's my responsibility. It seems like women are the ones who keep families close. I apologize if there are men out there who really work at it but that just hasn't been my experience. Boys just don't connect as much in my opinion. And since I'm the only girl (yes that's a complaint), I kind've feel like it's up to me. Mom and I talked about this while she was here and she kind've agrees. Now don't get me wrong, Denise I love you dearly!! And I hope that all of my sister's-in-laws are like her (in the wonderful, open, family respect -- then they can be whatever they want) but they have their own families to keep up with too. And I love Chopper's family too, but I don't feel quite so much like it's my place to keep everyone together. Does any of this make sense? Am I just overbearing and family deprived??

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Babbling Baby

It's amazing how quickly things change. Just in the past few days, Megan has moved from screaming and vocalizing in very high pitches to actual babble and using her mouth when she talks. It's fun to hear her and she does it wherever she feels like it. She talks at home, during our errands, in the bathtub, wherever! But once again, it's difficult to get it on camera because she likes the camera and is too preoccupied with grabbing and examing it. Oh, that's the other thing -- she has really started reaching and grabbing for what she wants. I used to be able to set her on my lap and check email or whatever for a few minutes. Today when I did that, everything on the desk ended up on the floor within the first 2 minutes. Sometimes she face plants herself because she's reaching and grabbing at her toys that are too far away.

This first video is another "not worth watching". I put the camera in front of the monitor last night when she was on a babbling streak so all you see is the wall. But you can hear it really good. Oh and it's 9:30 at night.

This one is the babbling baby herself. In the bathtub (which is just cute). Chopper approved it for posting -- he doesn't like naked baby pictures because he says there are too many sickos out there and that's true but this is darn cute!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Megan on Strike

This is probably the only interesting thing that has happened in the past few days. Okay, Michael Phelps and his 8 gold medals in one Olympics is pretty darn exciting -- I mean in our family! And we certainly don't have that going on in our family!

No, our excitement -- or anxiety rather -- is Megan on strike. She apparently likes her thumb more than she likes to eat. She eats when she gets hungry enough but it certainly has been a battle! Thank goodness she has all those wonderful fat rolls to carry her through until she decides she's hungry. Interesting though -- she's not cranky about it AT ALL. She's been her usual happy, wonderful self!
These are just cute.
Megan is a disaster when she eats -- surprise, surprise! She hates having her face washed afterwards but loves having her hands washed. It even gets her laughing which is saying something since it takes a lot to make her laugh.
Chopper took this one and it's blurry but I love the look on her face!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Made Bread!

This happened today too but I think it's pretty cool so I had to post it separately.

I MADE BREAD!!! I really like carbs and the other day I was remembering how my mom would make homemade bread and we'd eat it warm with butter and honey . . . so I called and got her recipe. It wasn't too hard and it's made with all food storage-able items so it's a good one to know and other than the fact that I didn't let them rise long enough in the pan and they turned out a little runty -- they are good! As you can see, Chop and I have already nearly demolished one loaf.

I Hate the Dentist

It probably doesn't help that I haven't been for a routine cleaning in a LONG LONG time -- after all, when you don't have dental insurance, do you really want to PAY to be tortured?

But I have to say, Dr. Zlock (yes that is his name) reminded me A LOT of my brother Jeff -- the one on a mission in Argentina. He was balding but had a ponytail (ok Jeff does not have a ponytail but I think he would if he could get away with it since he is awfully sensitive about his balding) and when he sat down initially to talk before the torture, he could not sit still! I kept thinking, I don't know if I want this guy to use sharp instruments in my already over-sensitive mouth! He was fine, maybe a little harsh with the scraper, but he talked the entire time and I have to admit I tuned out quite a bit because a lot of it was random dental stuff. I guess you would have to know Jeff and meet Dr. Zlock to think this is interesting . . . I thought it was hilarious.

Why do people become dentists? Is the money really worth working in people's mouths? I mean, seriously, surgery would be better. You might be inside someone but at least it's relatively clean. And no one likes dentists. I like my gynecologist better than the dentist and those appointments not only hurt, they're embarassing!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Chopper and I have been watching the Olympics and we're not doing too bad! USA looked quite dapper (there's really no other word for it) at the opening ceremonies which were AMAZING! I was QUITE impressed.

And I have to say, it is kind've a shame that these games hosted by China are so controversial. The Olympics should be about bringing people together and leaving the politics behind -- at least temporarily.

Now if only there were an Olympics of literature . . .

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Picky Eater

Disclaimer: If you tire of my Megan stories, I'm sorry. It's just all so new and fascinating to me!

But this one shouldn't have been new.

Since very early in life, Megan has been a picky eater.

Sorry -- disclaimer #2: If you don't want to read about my nursing experiences, please stop reading now.

So babies who are exclusively breastfed shouldn't be picky right? After all, it's not like they have options. Au contraire mes amis! (How's that for 2 years of college French?) Megan has a very definate side preference. If she isn't settled just so on one side, she refuses to eat. She takes the other side all the time, every time though. Needless to say, this has caused some issues with supply and demand and a "fun" new game I like to call upside-down head.

So rice cereal isn't bad. It isn't great either. But then I move to peas. Every mother out there is probably groaning to herself -- I can't believe you started with peas! I read today (after 3 days of peas mind you) that it's better not to start with them because they have a strong flavor. I love peas, it seemed logical at the time.

Day 1 of peas: not bad -- seemed to take to them ok. They really taste like canned peas (which actually I don't like -- I prefer fresh or frozen).
Day 2 of peas (morning): not so interested -- not opening her mouth, pushing it out with tongue, etc. I figure she's tired because it's almost time for her morning nap so I'll try again later.
Day 2 of peas (afternoon): Shoot -- disclaimer: I already know Megan has an amazing gag reflex. She will gag on her fingers too far down her throat, air when she cries hard or gets too excited, etc. So I'm trying to feed her peas and with the ones I'm getting into her mouth she is making that gag face -- you all know the one that I mean -- open mouth, tongue slightly curled, a slight retching noise. This is weird because she's had peas before and I don't think they're too thick and they're definately not chunky. Maybe she's half swallowing and then gagging on it. But the face is really funny so I get the camera.

Megan is in the middle of gagging when I raise the camera to take the picture and this is the shot that comes out:
I'm sorry, what child who is genuinely gagging stops to smile for the camera? Not to mention that I could see the peas still in her mouth. What a little turkey. I think I'm in for a picky eater.

Day 3 of peas: Yes I know, I tried it again. This time I mixed it with rice cereal -- not so much. So I tried cooking up some frozen and blending them really well with a little water and breast milk (which, by the way, is very difficult for me to extract independantly). She did better. Particularly when I let her feed herself.
I think in reality she just wanted to chew on the spoon and the peas happened to be there. But I'm not going to complain.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Western Montana State Fair

You have to love the fair. This one isn't nearly as big as the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot but it wasn't bad. I am glad, however, that we went on "family day" (free admission for all) rather than paying $6 per person!

Look! Llamas! They don't have these in Idaho.
This is Megan's reaction to the chickens after they clucked, crowed, whatever it is that they do . . .
And this is Megan's reaction to her mom . . . apparently I am funnier than the chickens.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Goodbye Grandma :(

Well I guess the vacation is over. Grandma probably just boarded her airplane back to Michigan. It's always nice to get back into the normal routine but it really has been wonderful to be out of it.

You know, Chopper and I are really enjoying Missoula but it has been a difficult transition. I went from full-time job, involved in my ward, hanging out with friends to being a full-time mom (which I love, don't get me wrong -- it's just very different), not really holding a calling, and not having people that I just call up or randomly visit with. Although I am grateful to be home with Megan and enjoying our time together, in many ways I have been lonely. I'm not trying to garner sympathy or anything but I just want to say thank you because blogging has really helped me feel like I'm still a part of everyone's lives and even though it's not direct contact, the involvement and the friendships have been very important to me. I am really glad that I live in an era when we have these technological benefits to keep us connected! Although I suppose that if I were living in the 1800s I'd be at the next farm over, right? :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

First Food!

We decided to have our first taste test while Grandma is still here. Megan was ready! On practice spoon runs she opened her mouth and accepted it willingly. Mom's also been trying to give her a little water from a cup which she likes but doesn't know what to do with.

We prepare ourselves with the cutest bib we own (it's a crab people and it does NOT reflect Megan's personality but I couldn't resist.)
ANd we're off!
Megan did really well -- according to my mom, better than I did the first time. She accepted it, didn't push it out with her tongue, but did get the BEST faces and wasn't sure how to handle this new substance. And I think it was the substance since I tasted it myself and its really bland -- oh yeah, rice cereal of course. After a while she started making faces at me like "you're seriously making me continue?" so we stopped and nursed instead.
I don't know if you can really tell but we're on our way to Stevensville for the Creamery Picnic and Montana State BBQ Championship (something like 6 competitors and no tasting -- what's up with that?) and mom and Megan are both asleep in the back seat as we drive.
Then I started taking pictures of Megan in her mirror (Chopper is driving -- don't worry!) and got a pretty decent one of her stink face. She's not mad, or tired, or whatever. She's just been scrunching up her face lately for the heck of it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vacation Update

It has been a long and wonderful week! Mom and I decided to drive to Salt Lake City (yes, from Missoula and yes, with Megan) to see my brothers and her sister and family. Grandma Goodman (mom's mom) -- now Grandma-Great (ok she's been a Grandma Great for years and years now but still!) flew up from California and spent a few days with us which really meant a lot to me since Chopper and I tend to be fairly random in where we live and who knows when we'll see her next!

For a 9-hour drive, Megan was WONDERFUL! I couldn't believe it -- she played or slept or talked and was only fussy when she got hungry. It was a beautiful thing.
On the way down, we had to stop at Pettingills for fruit. We always used to get fruit there when we lived in Utah -- especially apricots. My mom was SOOOO excited it was like a kid in a candy store and she needed her picture taken in front.
This is 4 generations!!! Me, Great-Grandma Goodman holding Megan, and my mom. I am SOOOO glad she came up to visit. I know flying isn't the easiest thing but it really just meant so much to me to have her see Megan and to spend time with her.
This is just the first rainbow I have seen in a while and it was wonderful. I love rainbows! The storm I had to drive through to see it though -- not so much.
My aunt Laura lives in Alpine and her kids all came to visit on Sunday and we had a big family dinner. It was supposed to be a cousin dinner but NONE OF THE OTHER COUSINS CAME! (Amy, Jimmy, Tim, Jesse -- you know who you are!). But I love Laura's kids -- my cousins -- and her daughters-in-law are wonderful too! Brittany's second son Owen is 2-3 weeks younger than Megan and it was fun to watch them together and see the things that he is doing that are the same but also their personality differences. Aren't they cute?
Until they attack your child! Actually, Megan smiled at him the whole time he was smacking her with hands and feet and then she started grabbing at his face so I guess it was all good baby fun!
We visited a lot of places that are particular to Utah -- DI, Deseret Book, and the This is the Place Monument. I haven't been there since I was little!
Of course I couldn't resist trying the pioneer bonnets on Megan. She would have been adorable in any era!
We also went to Temple Square just because I love it. Megan really loved the Tabernacle and tried out the sound of her voice with their acoustics.
Then we went to see the Christus because Megan really likes the picture of it at church but she wasn't interested in the real thing!
I had to get one of Denise (my sister-in-law) with Megan because we didn't get to spend a ton of time with her because she was working but we got some early mornings in. We love you anyway Denise!

I was pleasantly surprised that Megan went to EVERYONE without crying and was happy and fun and earned herself quite a few nicknames: cream puff, peaches n' cream, cricket (for the way she kicks her feet and rubs them together) and I think my favorite would be after the first night we were there and then left to go back to Danny and Denises for the night, my cousin's son Jace said: "where did that lady with the marshmallow baby go?" And she was just as sweet -- it was a fabulous trip!