Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Chopper!

Today is Chopper's 31st birthday! I'm really grateful for birthdays -- its so fun to celebrate someone just because they exist. So we celebrated Chopper with lots of things he loves:

Chocolate chip cookies instead of a cake. (I always eat the entire cake practically anyway -- at least Chopper will eat all the cookies!)

A fishing trip -- sort've. Our rivers have been really flooded because of melted snowpack and then rainy weather. He couldn't actually go out fishing so instead he had to fish for his birthday presents.

Megan even made him a PowerPoint card -- ok she really posed for pictures but she was adorable!

In 31 years Chopper has done a lot in his life. I'm looking forward to the next thirty-one years and on to celebrate my wonderful husband. He is a great husband and a fabulous father. He really takes care of both of us. Happy Birthday Chopper!

Roll over baby!

Megan rolled over. She doesn't like tummy time and now she has figured out how to get out of it! It was funny because Chopper was on the phone and I started yelling for him to come in and she did it again! Then we got it on video! It takes a little effort and she only does it if she feels like it but its a roll!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday James!

Today is James' 19th birthday. Hard to believe. Now we're just waiting for his mission call so that we can get rid of him! Just kidding. James is a good brother -- he always has been. When I was younger he would play house and Barbies with me and he used to send me notes and pictures in college. I can't wait for him to become a professional chef and cook dinner for us! Or at least teach us some of his secrets. We love you James -- Happy Birthday!
James' graduation from Sherando. I can't believe we all graduated from the same high school. They were wondering when the Gassers would ever end!

James with Megan on her blessing day. He wanted to hold her the most and is sad that she's going to do so much growing while he's gone. You're a great uncle James!

James (far right) and Danny and Denise at Yellowstone. It was really fun to go with all my brothers (except Jeff of course) and see the place. Hopefully we'll have more family vacations in the years to come!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I forgot

Mom, I know how much you love the videos -- the middle is kind've shaky but I was trying to get her whining because its actually pretty funny. I'm sure it won't be when she's 4. She gets distracted by the camera and then stops -- maybe I should take it with me on the trip to Virignia to distract her on the plane . . .

Chocolate take 2

Take one was way back in February but I figured that with Megan nearly 4 months old, I was safe.

I was wrong.

Tuesday I went to a food storage prep class through Relief Society in our ward. The teacher gave us all a small piece of dark chocolate. It was wonderful. But that was it, one piece about the size of one of those Hershey's nuggets -- but infinitely better than just a nugget. Anyway, yesterday Megan was like this pretty much all day:

She does this wonderful whiny thing where she doesn't cry she just whines. Literally. My parents say she gets it from me -- I think they're right. I am ashamed to remember some really bratty whiny episodes from my childhood and they didn't involve piano practice -- they were in addition to! But anyway, Megan was whiny and fussy and wouldn't sleep all day. Today she is this:

I can't think of anything else that it would have been. I guess I'm off again until she is no longer attached to me. Sigh.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I've found my future!

Chopper is such a sweet husband! Even though he drives all over Montana during the week, he will still take me places on Saturday so I can see a little bit of the state too! Plus, he notices things that I'll like.

A few weeks ago he said he drove by a quilt shop in a church. I love old churches. Krista and I had the best time in Charleston, South Carolina years ago because I love old churches and she loves cemetaries so it was a really good combination. Anyway, so we went to Corvallis today to see it. OH MY GOODNESS! I love specialty quilt shops anyway because they have the CUTEST fabrics ever but this literally is a church that has been converted into a quilt shop. Be still my beating heart! It has the stained glass windows and the bellfry. Plus, the owners of the shop publish their own line of childrens clothes patterns and quilt patterns. I think someday I need one. A quilt shop in an old church -- or an old school would be acceptable too. It was such an inspiration. I came home wanting to quilt the rest of the day away. Megan's cranky so maybe not today anyway.

They were really nice in the shop -- not pushy at all but as we left the woman in charge made a comment that you just don't hear every day. "They have really good ice cream at the church up the street." And lo and behold, the church up the street is a cafe.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Nothing special

We've been pretty much back to normal since our big weekend. But, randomly speaking:

1. Missoula proudly boasts that they have 4 seasons. What they don't tell you is that winter takes up about half of the year. It is just NOW getting into beautiful weather and its supposed to be 90 over the weekend. That is not normal. Since Chopper and I just found out we don't have air conditioning (it hasn't mattered until now), I'll be glad to have it drop back to the 70s and maybe stay there for a while. But Megan and I have been taking walks and that's been nice. I'm getting really good at getting the stroller in and out of the trunk of my car. Missoula is pretty but I miss trees -- and I don't mean random trees -- I mean TREES. There are some very pretty ones in the neighborhood but nothing like Virginia. Sigh. This one is just pretty.

2. I realized today as I was pining over trees (get it?) that Chopper and I have lived our entire marriage on the west coast -- thus far. Who would've thought? I've enjoyed the places we've lived and especially the people we've met but I think I'm ready to move back to the east.

3. Megan is starting to grab things. Actually, it's funny because she does it in slow motion. But we have this chair that I LOVE because it has been so useful! She sits in it and watches me do the dishes or cook or whatever but it has a play thing (who knows what they're called) that attaches into the sides and has dangling things (watch the video and you'll see what I mean). Just this week she has started to push and pull them around and I think its fun to watch. Of course its all fun to watch for me! However, the song that plays in pieces when she pulls each one is now driving me nuts!

4. May is almost over. Holy moley.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

So my great weekend has culminated in my first Mother's Day and I have to say that it has been rather emotional. And not just because of Megan. Having the mom that I have makes me the mom that I am and I am so grateful for her and I love you so much!

Chopper has really made the day special and he bought me Disney's Enchanted as a Mother's Day gift. If you love princess movies AT ALL you need to see it. We watched it together last night and he laughed so hard at parts that he started coughing and couldn't breathe. It's a fun movie.

We took this picture a few weeks ago actually but I've been saving it for today because I love it so much. I am really grateful for digital cameras because I swear we only get a few really good pictures for every hundred we take but its nice not to have to worry about developing film.

Anyway, happy Mother's Day everyone!

What a weekend!

It's fun to have things that break up your daily routine. Stephanie and James (not my brother) came to Missoula late Thursday night and spent Friday and Saturday with us (sort've) while they searched apartments in Missoula and he collected samples from the Clark Fork River for whatever he does. He explained it -- I still don't get it -- but it has to do with ecology and geology and making the environment better. They brought with them my sister-in-law Denise. Actually, they are friends of hers so that wasn't too random. I truly love Denise for herself, not just because she's Danny's wife. She is sweet and wonderful and so easy to be with. She teaches art at Bingham High School so it was nice for her to get away too this close to the end of the year and she loves Megan. We had such a good time just hanging out together and we went to an art gallery in downtown Missoula and just talked and played with Megan. She is just wonderful. Her sister Carrie is wonderful too! It's nice to have a good relationship with yout in-laws but almost unheard of to have a relationship with their family. Denise's family just has taken us all in as well as my brother and they are wonderful. Carrie has a daughter Nyah who is about 3 months older than Megan so she sent us a huge bag of small diapers, baby food, and clothes that she's not using. I just find that amazing that she would do that!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The way the world works

My parents took their yearly trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I can't even tell you how much I miss the beach but, alas, I was not able to go! They're talking about doing it with the whole family once James gets back from his mission. I say, let's do it now! Forget James! But this is indeed the way the world works now: my mom sent Megan a cute little t-shirt as a souvenir. She sent it to Megan. Not her daughter whom she brought into this world. To her granddaughter. I guess I can't fault her -- it is the grandparent's job to spoil the grandchildren. And she is cuter than I am.

By the way, Alton Brown's show Good Eats about bread was titled "The Dough Also Rises". I was the only one who thought that was funny.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

National Teacher's Day

According to my calendar, today is National Teacher's Day. It is also Megan's 3 month birthday! But I was reminiscing about teacher appreciation stuff and I have to say -- most of the time it's really cheesy worthless stuff. You know what would be great to show teachers you appreciate them? I've compiled a list of things that would really be nice:

1. Extra copies for stuff -- heck unlimited copies!
2. Gift certificate to a book store
3. Removing all of the students who talk back, don't do their work, and are obnoxious from the classroom
4. Time to collaborate with other teachers on a day that doesn't come before grades are due
5. The administration to substitute
6. Give teachers a substantial raise
7. Pay teachers extra for dealing with students mentioned in #3

I think the list could go on but you probably get the point. So Maeli and Erika -- I appreciate you! And I would do all of the above if I could. Happy National Teacher Day!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Toys, Toys, Toys

Megan gets bored easily. Actually I think its probably partly related to being 3 months old (on Tuesday). But you would think the makers of baby products would realize this. We bought her a swing. We gave in, so many people say their babies love to swing -- Megan not so much. She doesn't even really love to rock in the rocking chair but boy does she love to be walked around the apartment and look at things! But when she does consent to swing, she doesn't look at the mobile at the top -- no Megan likes to look at the red button that holds the legs in. Of course, the mobile is made up of 3 identical white bears. No pattern. No color. Now honestly -- you're in the baby business. So in an effort to see if maybe some color interested her in the swing a little bit more, Chopper "fixed" the mobile -- albeit temporarily.

Thank goodness he's married to a woman who has lots of interesting socks! However, as you can see, Megan is still looking at the red button.

It's frustrating to buy baby products and then not have her interested. She really likes things that are free. For example: she loves to watch her mother dance like a fool, she loves her pill bottle rattles filled with beans and rice (thank you childproof lids), and she loves to look at the clothes in our closet -- mesmerized by Chopper's side in particular. I think I need to learn a lesson from this . . .