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!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stuck at Home

Chopper took the car to Kalispell to take the test for the Border Patrol so mom and I spent the day at home -- ok when he got back we all went for icecream -- but doting grandmother + adoring mother + complying baby = dress up and pictures!!!!

Wait! It's coming to me now! Your future is starting to become clear . . .

I see a great event! A long journey filled with people you love! It will be full of peril and adeventure . . .

Just when you think it is over, KAPOW! There will be a long journey to return to where you began and life will return to normal!

Wow. Not only does Aunt Laura's crown look fabulous on me, it has magical powers!

Happy Pioneer Day!

Every year we hear stories about pioneers: the early pioneers of the Church, modern-day pioneers, etc. And of course I think the celebrations have been more widespread when Chopper and I were living in Idaho. But this is the first Pioneer Day I think that I am really grateful that I am NOT a pioneer and I have a newfound respect for pioneer women.

I could NOT have given birth traveling across the plains.
Cleaning out rags and rags of infant poop in avaialable streams and ponds? Thank goodness for disposable diapers!
Dealing with all things female without the availability of clean, sanitary, and convenient bathrooms? No way.

I think the Lord knows best where we'll thrive and survive. But I'm glad that there were people in this world to pave the way for my modern conveniences! Happy pioneer day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Playing catch up because GRANDMA'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My mom arrived yesterday and we are sooooo excited! Ok I'm sooooo excited, Chopper's just excited, and Megan -- well she's not sure yet.

Actually, she's not too freaked out -- see? She has taken to Grandma really well -- better than she took to the Whittacre grandparents. And I'm not saying that to be rude or anything! I think it helps tremendously that my mom is here in our house and is there when she wakes up and goes to bed, etc. It isn't a strange place in addition to strange people like our trip to Virginia was.

So our first excursion today was to Fort Missoula. It was built back in the mid-1800s and has served not only as a miltary fort but an internment camp for Japanese and Italians during World War II and then a prison for military personnel awaiting court marshal. I think that the funniest thing was that in 1896 they arranged the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps to "test the military potential of bicycles." After several short trips and then biking all the way to St. Louis (!!!) they decided the bicylce "offered limited military potential, [but] it would never replace the horse." I'm sorry, is anyone else laughing?

It had a great little museum though on the history of the place and some cool influenza stuff for kids that made me wish I were still teaching history! And we wandered around the grounds a bit -- Chopper loved the train of course and Megan did pretty well.

And we have Grandma for 2 weeks! YAY!

This is just cute and I CANNOT take credit for the bow. My cousin EmmaJane makes them and sent a few to me. And they are completely adjustable!
Chopper decided Megan needed to express herself in ink. I discovered it when I gave her a bath -- at least it washed off!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Overanxious mom part 2

I left Megan with a babysitter for the first time today. I know, I know, she's almost 6 months -- and I was still panicky about it!

I've been having these delightful postpartum issues (again, I know, I know -- almost 6 months -- long story -- email me if you want the details but things are really fine just not great) that have resulted in weekly appointments with my OB/GYN. I am alternately grateful for modern medicine and hate modern medicine. Anyway, for the most part Chopper has been able to either meet me at my appointments and watch Megan there or come home. Ok, actually, it's been all option #1. But today -- no go so I called a woman in the ward whose teenage daughters I have been surreptitiously observing for several weeks now and one of her daughters was free.

I woke up 4 nights ago panicked that this was a terrible idea and I would cancel the appointment until Chopper could help me and then I realized three things: First, Megan needs to get used to other people if I ever want to remove her from my hip. Second, I need a reliable babysitter anyway. Third, panicking FOUR DAYS before the actual event is ridulous. I need to save panic for the night of.

And the result was . . . (drumroll please) Megan slept the entire time.

Score 2 for the overanxious mom.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I wish I was still this flexible . . . and this cute.

I think that only pants made for babies are small enough to get by with this pattern. But they look great on her!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

9 seconds and counting . . .

Isn't 9 seconds the magic number for staying on when bull-riding? It's also the current magic number for Megan to sit up before falling over!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I forgot . . .

Chopper and I are going to move to Polson just for the opportunity of living on Hellroaring Road and having my hair done at the salon Curl Up and Dye.

You gotta love America!

Happy 4th of July!

I love the 4th of July. Chopper had the day off and we decided to go north to Polson. It's a town on the southern tip of the Flathead Lake. So we fixed up a picnic lunch and dressed up Megan and off we went!

It was really pretty up in that area although the day was hazy and humid and you couldn't see the mountains too clearly. You can tell though that they are pretty craggy and impressive.
These are the Mission Mountains. Everything in that area (ok not everything but a lot of stuff) is related to the Catholic Mission that settled in the area early on. Now the whole area is a reservation for the Salash and Kootenai Indian tribes. I have never heard of either of them but all of the signs were in English and then whatever language they speak. Chopper slowed down so I could take a picture of this one -- how in the world do you pronounce that? It looks almost like a cross between Hebrew and Russian except with the Latin alphabet.

Anyway, all of the waterfront parks in Polson were bursting with people swimming, boating, whatever. We stopped at one and unpacked but it was very anty so we packed up and moved on. Megan did well in the car until we decided to do that. She was just starting to get some good kicking in
when we put her back in her carseat so she was not too happy about that.

We ended up at Finley Point -- a long finger of land that juts into Flathead Lake. It looks from here like that's the end of the lake -- its not. There are quite a few islands in Flathead and the Lake is apparently ginormous.
I haven't seen the whole thing but Polson is at the southern tip and Chopper says it takes another hour and a half to get to Kalispell at the northern. We'll probably see it better in August when we (hopefully) go to Glacier National Park.

So we picnicked
but no fishing for Chop. Too many people and boats in the water. Then came home and sang patriotic songs on the way. We watched the DC and Boston fireworks on TV. The DC fireworks are incredible in person but on TV they kept cutting out to whoever their host was. The Boston ones are great on TV because they stay in close and they sync them up to music by the Boston Pops and other songs. Megan went to bed before all this -- maybe she'll see fireworks next year!

The good thing about Montana is that even if you can't make it to the profressional fireworks display almost anything amateur is legal. Fireworks didn't go off here until 10:30 because that's more or less when it's dark enough to see them. We couldn't see the city display from our apartment but there were a number of good ones all over the neighborhood we live in -- you know the ones -- illegal in other states, the kind that set fields on fire (but that's another story actually not related to the 4th of July). But that was really fun to watch and amazingly enough -- Megan slept through the noise.

Chopper and I are really grateful for this country that we live in. It's not perfect by any means but we have so many freedoms and blessings that other's don't have. It's amazing to think that all of this was inspired and set in motion by a small group of men over 200 years ago. We've particularly been blessed to be able to see quite a bit of this country and I have to say that there is beauty wherever you go and friendly, honest people. Happy 4th everyone!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cell Memory?

Today I went to the doctor and Chopper met me there and babysat in the waiting room. I need to get a regular babysitter. Anyway, apparently there was an older couple there that befriended Megan. I say the word befriended loosely. Megan is very STRONGLY attached to mom and dad. So befriending means Megan gets to look and no one is allowed to touch her or get to close. But apparently when they did get too close, she put her hands over her eyes. I noticed she was doing that earlier with another woman but I thought (well I knew) she was tired. But with multiple people? Then I remembered that Chop's mom told me that when he was little he used to close his eyes and cover his face to make them go away. AND when we play peek-a-boo we don't use hands, we use blankets. SO my mom says its cell memory -- something she has because of Chopper's cells. Why not? We already know that her cells are pretty much 95% Chopper (and I'm ok with that. Chopper thinks I sound disappointed when I say that).

I don't know what's more astonishing: the fact that she has cell memory or the fact that Chopper didn't like strangers at one point in his life.

And the answer is yes!

Megan has started nodding her head. I like to attribute it to the fact that I watched Singing in the Rain a few weeks ago and started singing the songs and reciting little bit parts to Megan (she didn't watch with me). Anyway, there's a part where Don and Lena have made their first talkie and while they're watching the preview the sound gets out of sync with the action and Lena and the Baron end up reversing lines so she's shaking her head very dramatically while saying "yes, yes, yes" in a deep voice and he's nodding while saying "no, no, no" in a high pitch. Sorry for the run-down if you've seen it. I LOVE that movie and I think it's one of the best musicals of all time. And then The Sound of Music. And then Newsies. But I digress. So I've been doing that bit and now Megan is nodding her head. Either that or she's just figured out that she can voluntarily move it up and down since it's now steady enough not to wobble up and down. Who really knows? But it's cute. And it's made her very agreeable.