Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcome new BOY!!!

We are PLEASED to announce that we are officially expecting a baby BOY on June 1st, 2009!
James doesn't quite understand what's going on... yet. But we are thrilled!!
This is just one of those "tender mercies" of the Lord- He knew we didn't have any extra money to spend on stuff for a little girl- so He sent us another son which we are WELL prepared for!
I'm really excited about this because I still get to be the only girl in my home :) and I really like being the "queen".
Drue thinks this is going to be fun! More boys to go camping with!!

The ultrasound tech was really nice- she kept going over spots until we could make out the various parts and was patient in explaining what we were seeing. The first pic is of the profile. When we saw that profile we both said "whoa, he looks like James!". The second pic is of the proof that we're truly having a boy- -in case you thought we were making it up:). We saw pics of his spine (looks perfect, no Spina Bifida here), his brain, the major organs, his legs and feet, hands and arms- modern medicine is a marvel.

All in all, we're VERY happy this baby is healthy and we're looking forward to meeting him. Oh yeah, I guess I should tell you we're thinking of naming this little boy Oliver. Oliver- something in the middle here, not sure what yet-Daily. Say it "Oliver Daily". Now, what would go well as a middle name? We're not sure about that yet. But we're open to ideas.

for sale

For sale:
one boy.
2.4 years old.
great smile
loves to laugh and play
obsessed with cars
trained in diapers
sleeps in 2 hour increments. including at night.

reason for selling: 4 hours of sleep last night. total.

answers to James.

Alright, so I'm not going to sell my son, but I gotta say- writing it out sure helps me put things in perspective.
So, here's what I'm in desperate need of: advice on HOW to get my little rat to SLEEP through the night again!
He WAS doing great! I could count on a full 8 hrs of sleep a night!
Now, he's a pill. All this started changing around the 2 year old mark. He has singlehandedly pushed back his "bed time" by an hour (8pm to 9pm) and can open his door even WITH the "child proof door knob"- and does this regularly. All he wants to do is sleep in MY bed. All I want him to do is NOT sleep in my bed. Just to SLEEP!!! We have a very established bedtime routine that we haven't changed since he was 1. I've been pushed to the edge of my sanity. For the sake of my son continuing to live with his parents (joking), does ANYONE have an idea on how to get this kid to stay asleep?

Friday, December 19, 2008

picky eaters

This picture is of my picky eater. Let me explain.
Bill Cosby talks about a "curse" laid on children by their parents when they are misbehaving and the parents just can't take it anymore. Here is the basic wording:
" I hope, when you have children, that they act exactly the same way YOU ACT!"
I KNOW I've heard that curse before- who hasn't? But this curse really only came about for me when we were sitting down to dinner. I am a picky eater. yes, its true. And all of you know it well. 
Let me relate a story about my youth as a picky eater.
I was visiting my Granna and Grandaddy with my mom and dad and we were just sitting down to dinner. Dinner included Mashed Potatoes. YUMMMM! except that these mashed potatoes had pepper flakes in it- most people add pepper to their mashed potatoes- and that displeased me. I sat at dinner and picked out every single flake of pepper from my mashed potatoes before I would eat any of it.
You want more proof?
I have picked onions out of Fideo, spaghetti sauce, stir fry, guacamole, refried beans, meats of all kinds etc... I can taste onions in Latkes, potato salad (which I still only eat my own because I don't add onions) etc..
I scrape off onions from my hamburgers from McD's with a french fry and then dispose of said fry so it won't contaminate my other fries.
I am a picky eater.
Turns out- so is my son.

Last night, we went to Sweet Tomatoes to celebrate Drue completing all of his requirements to graduate with his MM a semester early!
James decided to become the worlds best picky eater.
He turned his nose from:
Blueberry Muffin
Mac and Cheese
Orange slices
chocolate pudding
ice cream

Here's what he will eat:
apple juice
PB&J (open faced only)
chocolate chip cookies (I made the mistake of giving him one to eat after "dinner")
milk and water

I am extremely concerned that this child is going to malnourish HIMSELF- because I won't let my kids eat cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner
I need need NEED ideas of foods that 2 year olds will eat... help me put "the curse" out!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ward christmas party

I have been to quite a few ward christmas parties. I've put together salads, served mashed potatoes, carved meats and poured water- and I have always loved going to the ward christmas party. The Concord 2nd ward knows how to throw a christmas party! My Hawthorne ward here in Salt Lake could use a little work.

Last night was the christmas party and I was really looking forward to it for a few reasons:
1. I don't have to cook
2. I don't have to do dishes
3. I don't have to be constant entertainment for James
4. socializing

There is almost always some kind of program associated with dinner. In Concord, I LOVED the devotional BEFORE the dinner. Singing with the choir was always a high point. The "dinner entertainment" was usually "Santa Claus" (aka Alan D Simpson) for the little kids and it was magical.

Here is how things went last night:
We came to the party in jeans and sweatshirt because there was no christmas devotional before dinner- The choir is singing on christmas sunday. We walk into the gym which has little decorations and is stuffed with tables- no place for the kids to play:(. The gym, however, is packed with people from the ward- things are looking up. Then, we sit at an unoccupied table so one of the parents constantly getting up and down to chase James is not a problem. It is at the table that I notice certain condiments: Sour cream, Chives, Bacon bits, Butter. Yup. We are apparently having baked potatoes. Usually, this is not a problem- except that we had the EXACT same thing for Halloween. So, in an effort to put on a happy face, I look to the "buffet" tables to see what else we've having that might be edible. Answer: green salad, some kind of fruit salad with mallows and cool whip, green beans (an enormous VAT of them), a very large crock pot of something (more on that in a bit) and a huge basket of rolls.
Oh good, I think to myself, at least I can eat some salads and rolls- that should be fine.
Boy was I wrong.
As soon as the bishop dismisses everyone to get in a line for food I see a member of the activities committee serving up something out of that very large crock pot. As more and more people return to their tables (we have yet to get in line) I see what the "mystery" is: (if you're a vegetarian, skip to the next paragraph) It appears to be some kind of "meat" cooked in a patty shape with gravy. Which- normally- MIGHT not have been that bad, except that it looks like vomit- no joke- which truly disgusts the pregnant woman. I asked Drue to find out what in heaven's name that icky brown sludge tastes like. Answer: nothing. It tastes like someone cooked beef patties with no spices in its own gristle and added a bit of water to make a "gravy".
Ew, Ew, Ew.
So, I tried the salad: apparently it had been frozen in the fridge and so the lettuce was all de-frosted wilty and slimy. I took a look for some salad dressing: only Ranch. I tried the fruit salad- which is HARD to ruin. Well, they did. It was ALL CANNED FRUIT- like mangoes, papaya and some other unidentifiable fruit.  Usually I like mangoes and papaya- but I like hem fresh! The only "real" fruit was sliced grapes.
At least they have rolls, I thought. So I bite into one- stale.
OH! they're bringing around brownies and ice cream- dry and tasteless.
And then the entertainment for the evening began- an introduction to accordion music- and we left.

Quiznos, here we come!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


What woman doesn't love her OBGYN? 
Wait, you mean thats just me?
Okay- let me tell you why my OBGYN is awesome!
Dr. Lash delivered James 2 and (almost) a half years ago. I had my first doc's appointment yesterday with this new pregnancy and here's how it went:
I ran into a really good friend who I had been thinking about calling for a week but somehow never got around to it- and she had been thinking of calling me too- turns out- but her phone had broken so she didn't have access to my number... to make this part short- we were able to exchange numbers again!
The nurse for my doc was really cool with me not being able to pee in that blasted cup!
Dr. Lash actually remembered me! I know, who could FORGET me- even after years of therapy- but he really did remember me! Here's how the conversation went (paraphrased):
Lash: well, welcome back! Hows the little one? He's how old now? (Its obvious to me that he doesn't remember me really at all- just reading my chart which mentions that he delivered J.)
me: Thanks, James is almost 2 and a half now
Lash: time flies!
me: yeah
awkward silence
Lash: so what does your husband do again?
me: he's a professional student
Lash: studying?
me: music composition. But we're DONE in 2 weeks!
Lash: (the light is beginning to dawn) wait a minute, I remember... something like someone having a degree in music, not composition, but like, how it works, or is built or something.
Me: yup. that was me.
Lash: Well! (jovial now-) Welcome back!!!

I know, he didn't REALLY remember me until the really boring degree, but the point is: he DID remember me eventually!
Dr. Lash also helped stop the CONSTANT post-nasal drip that I've been gagging on for 2 and a half months straight! Lovely man!
And, he had no problems with my dependance on Phenergan, AND that I take Flintstone vitamins and not Prenatals.
me: does it really matter that I'm not taking prenatal vitamins- I take Flintstone's instead.
Lash: Really, it doesn't.
There you go, Dad. Dr. Lash says its no problem.

The good news is that
1. I'm not having twins!
2. I heard a heart beat- nice and strong
3. We find out the sex of the baby on Dec. 30!!! I was to surprised to find myself so far along!

It was a good day and today is a better one!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sad sad sad

Merry Christmas to you all- well, as merry as I can make my home. I present for your snickering pleasure the sad state of my christmas decor: the 1st day of december was a Monday and in anticipation of the "fun time" going to be had by all during a family home evening of christmas decorating I pulled out all 3 shoe-box sized boxes chalk full of christmas decorations- all 6 of them. The boxes sat in my living room and were re-arranged for a full week until I just had to pull everything out myself. I'm still not officially done- meaning I've still got lights to put up- but I think I may be done for this year! Let me then proceed to introduce you to my christmas decorations:
The Tree was the first thing to go up because its fake and therefore, the easiest thing to put together! Plus, its only 4 feet tall. This is a good thing because 3 minutes after I put it up and laboriously decorated it with all 12 of my ornaments, strategically placed to create an illusion of someone who cares, James decided the tree looked better horizontal. The first picture is of the boy and the tree. I took out the camera and began testing out angles from which to shoot the tree to make it look as large as possible when much to my surprise, the boy thought I wanted to take a picture of HIM! So, he obligingly sat in front of the tree and took a picture! 
This is my tree with all the ornaments on the top 1/3. There is only 1 homemade ornament that has any emotional value whatsoever: the star of david constructed with popsicle sticks. James made it in Nursery. The rest are from the dollar tree. Here's a great money saving tip: If you want some kind of continuity in your decorations but don't want to go to target, check your dollar store! They've got all kinds of cool things to hang around your home- and all for $1!
This little picture shows off the culmination of my decorating abilities: nutcrackers guarding the nativity set. There WAS a stable with the nativity set but it was covered in peat moss and after James pulled down the tree, he de-mossed my stable and re-arranged my nativity, bonded with baby Jesus and the manger when he brought them both to the dinner table and then chose the Manger to use as a telephone. It was really quite funny.

This is Drue's idea of a christmas wreath.

This is mine. Its not great but I sincerely tried to be creative and artistic while wielding a hot glue gun and trying to make a pretty bow. I'm sure Bonnie Mattson would NOT choose this wreath to put in her lovely home. When I'm rich and famous, I'm hiring Bonnie to make over my home.
I hope you all got a good laugh because you all deserve a good laugh!
Merry Christmas to all! I'll be posting again soon!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mozart and Messiaen

Oh thank heaven- for Mozart and Messiaen!!! Before I begin this fantastic post, let me begin by acknowledging that most of you have seen the movie 'Amadeus' and/or have heard- in passing or actually sat down and listened to Mozart's Requiem. Let me also say that everything you think you know about the origins of the Requiem is apocryphal to the last letter!
The correct history of the writing of the Requiem is actually far more interesting than the version most people think they know.
Didn't Mozart write the requiem for himself as a plot by another composer to destroy the musical genius and take the composition as his own? No, No, No and No.
Mozart DIDN'T write the requiem? you're probably asking me in disbelief- Hello, it's called Mozart's Requiem for a REASON! Well, yes and no. Mozart did not write the entire thing- he wrote the first 2-3 pieces fully for sure, made basic sketches of a few others- vocal lines for 4-8 bars, string parts in ostinato etc.., and was dead by the time the other pieces needed to be written.
Here's the REAL story in a nutshell:
Rich Count' wife dies. he commissions 2 works of art in memorial tribute to her. One, a statue- the other a Requiem Mass. Rich count sends his steward to Mozart to commission the work from him- secretly. Mozart dies before it is even CLOSE to being complete and Mrs.Mozart begs other composers to finnish the work for her so the money will be paid- she needs $$$. 3 composers turn her down because they recognize the enormity of the challenge- c'mon, could YOU complete a Mass half finished from the most famous composer in your country? Only one student finally agrees- Sussmayer. The requiem most often performed is the Sussmayer completion, although there have been others. Sussmayer finishes the music, copied the entire thing out in his own hand and Mrs.Mozart delivers it to Rich Count- who then copies it in HIS hand and tries to pass it off as HIS composition to his dead wife. This doesn't work AT ALL, but there you go. 
Antonio Salieri NEVER had anything to do with any kind of plot to kill Mozart for personal gain- thank you Amadeus.
Also, the bit about Mozart thinking he was writing his own Requiem is only partially apocryphal. At the end of his short but productive life, he was suffering greatly from depression and wrote that he felt his death approaching as he composed the R. 
But enough about death.
The music itself was HEAVENLY. The power really cannot be talked about in any acceptable terms. Listening to a recording is a mere pittance for the energy and raw emotional POWER that is communicated during a performance. The Requiem is for a full 150 voice choir, 100 instrument symphony, and 4 vocal soloists. And- wow. There is this WAVE of solid sound that just crests right over your ears and truly was emotional. The composition is, over all, imperfect- yes- but the parts that are Mozarts purely are truly perfection! This coming from a musician who can be highly critical of performances- and to be honest there were some weak spots. But the great majority of the work was incredible! 
There was another piece on the concert that was DELIGHTFUL. It is: Les Offrandes Oubliees. Translation: The Forgotten Offerings.
If you can find it on itunes, check it out!
I will warn you, it is a "modern" piece- meaning it was composed after 1900. So, some of the harmonies are not necessarily triadic in the common sense. But the piece itself merited a mention because it was done BEAUTIFULLY!

The pic is of Drue (cute) and I (not the best angle for me) in front of the sculpture that sits in Abravanel hall Lobby- Its really cool actually. It seems to be made of curly-cue red and orange glass thingys all glued together. I'm no artist- clearly. But it makes for a neat centerpiece.

I love going to the Symphony! Especially when I get to hear new and old music side by side when each one is as delightful as the other, just in totally different ways!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving feast!

James was excited to have mom and dad home ALL DAY- and even though it rained all morning long, we still had a good time at home- mainly cooking!!! Well, mainly MOMMY cooking...

Here is our thanksgiving feast. Duck (see pics), mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, Jaquays, gravy, martinelli's- it all made for a delicious (and FILLING) dinner. We are truly thankful! In Primary, one of our teachers mentioned that her family does the thankful ABC's WHILE everyone is eating dinner! We thought that was a pretty good idea so we did it too! it took a lot of thought- especially Q, X, U- but it was fun and really made us think of what we are thankful for besides food.
Picture of the duck after glazing.
The duck right out of the oven! It was delicious! Duck is a very flavorful meat and we don't have a month's worth of leftovers hanging out in our fridge- very good! We truly enjoyed the day and have much to be thankful for!


Here is is folks! The first of six stockings has been completed! I'm REALLY proud of this particular accomplishment because the pattern stocking and my stocking look so similar! And I did it all by myself! I am very happy with how well the stocking looks- so, pardon my tooting my own horn for a bit. :)

Primary Children's Hospital

Zoe Stweart
Mikey Taylor
Matty Taylor
Lucy LeBohec
Emmaline Huntzinger
On November 20th I took some of my piano students to Primary Children's Hospital for a small service project. It was only an hour long but the kids really enjoyed it. We played the piano for anyone who wanted to listen. I tried to warn them that this was really going to be more like playing a Nordstrom- where people listen while they do other things- than like a recital- where you have a captive audience who MUST clap for you no matter what! Here are some pictures of my students playing on the woefully out of tune piano. I think if someone really wants to do something nice for the hospital, they might donate an in-house piano tuner!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Duck Duck Goose

Are you thinking about thanksgiving yet? Perhaps you have made your menu, your shopping lists, invited your friends, decorated your home. Perhaps in the process of deciding what your main course will be the thought flashed through your mind- do I REALLY want to make Turkey again? Is it really worth the work? Do the left-overs REALLY taste that good? How many days of turkey sandwiches for lunch can I really handle?
These questions have been answered in an acceptable way for you all:
1. you really DONT want to make turkey again.
2. it's really NOT worth the work
3. The left overs are all white meat and do not taste that good!
4. any more than one day of leftovers is unacceptable.

So, I've found an alternative:
I'm making a duck! Thats right- the one that says Quack Quack. 
I'm excited for this because:
1. its all dark meat- yum!
2. Its small enough to feed 4 people well without too many left overs
3. It is an easy roast to to and won't fill up my oven completely
4. It won't take 10 hours to roast/smoke/deep fry/brine/carve.

Mainly I'm excited about this because I'm hoping to create a new thanksgiving tradition for my family-
but we're still having all the other fixin's!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What to write

I have decided that I'm a terrible blogger for a few reasons.
1. I don't take pictures like crazy (I'm looking at you, mom) and therefore, don't have the arsenal that most other folks have. Its not that I don't enjoy pictures- I think that maybe the things I take pictures of (James, James and more James) are less interesting to most other folks than they are to me. Verily, in an effort to spare you (dear readers) of the kind of insufferable bragging that inevitably seems to accompany pics of one's only child, I don't post pictures unless I've got either a great story to go with it, or a good picture.
2. When I write out my blog, I have a hard time being witty. Deanna Munoz is always entertaining, humble as pie, and I LOVE reading her blog because its FUN! Lanette Hopkins is fun to keep up with because she posts YUMMY recipies and I like hearing about her family because I love her so much (you too Deanna). Pretty much everyone my mom has a link to, I love to read, and I read them voraciously.
3. How honest can you actually be on a blog that millions of people have access to? There are things I would love to talk about, but maybe they're just not that appropriate for the blogosphere- like how much I hate how HUGE my boobs are now that I'm expecting again- things like that. This kind of blatant parading around of ones bra size is not that relevant to most folks lives- nor do they really want to hear about all the other things I may just need an outlet on. Thats why God created husbands though- right? and Best friends?
4. Sometimes, I really have nothing to say. John Cage said "I have nothing to say and I am saying it". This pretty much sums up a lot of how I feel about my life. Things are good- we have a home to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear and little things to look forward to. The gospel is still true and I love my family. When so many things are going right, I almost feel like I'll be tempting fate to talk about how good things really are on a blog. Its like when I put James down to bed. We always say our prayers and I always purposefully leave OUT a plea that we have a solid night of sleep- because if I ask for it, it NEVER happens. So, I don't say it out loud, but I'm desperately praying for it in my heart. I am extremely blessed to have the things, people, love, experiences et all that I do. And sometimes, just feeling that humble thankfulnesin my heart makes me so full, that I honestly don't think I could put it down in words- for fear that it will all be taken away. But I guess that's a huge weakness on my part- maybe i really do need these things taken for a short while so I can be more vocal in my gratitude. I don't know.

So, here is my desire:
I want to become as good a blogger as Bonnie, Lanette, Deanna, my parents and all the wonderful people who I check up on even though they probably don't know it.
I am in the process of a few big things right now. One, I'm growing a baby. Thats pretty big- even though its only about 2 inches long now and weighs about 2 sugar packets.
Two, I have a piano studio and we are going to Primary Childrens Medical Center this saturday to perform a small recital for the folks who are not going to have a "Merry Christmas"- I'm intending to blog about that extensively. We're doing this twice this season and I may go by myself a few times because I think everyone deserves to hear something beautiful this christmas- and if I can bring that to even one family who will appreciate it, I will feel that my talents have been put to good use.
Three, I am making stockings. Nice ones- Velvet, like my Aunt Janet used to make. Complete with Gothic calligraphy cross stitching names and the whole shebang- I'm doing everything. I would like to write about my experiences doing this, although they may turn into frustrated rants about how I can't seem to get the spacing just right! 
If I thing of another thing to write, I'll insert it here and there.

The "tag line" of my blog says: All the world is music and it happens everyday. Make your music count. Let this holiday be the one where you truly make your music count- give to those in need, comfort those who stand in need of comfort and life the burden of someone new. That is the best music of all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


As most of you know- those who know me well at least- I am a sucker for movies directed by Baz Luhrmann. These are: Strictly Ballroom (love that Paso Doble), Romeo + Juliet (also included fanastic music by Radiohead), Moulin Rouge (need I say more?)- and coming out this month- AUSTRALIA. There are a few reasons why I am so excited for this! 
1. It has Hugh Jackman who I think is a wonderful actor and I am happy to see him collaborate with Baz.
2. Hugh Jackman is Australian, ergo, when he speaks, the accent is REAL. Thats refreshing.
3. Nicole Kidman is reuniting with Baz for movie no.2. I think this is a great idea! She really was fantastic in Moulin Rouge! and I'm sure will be equally luminescent in Australia.
I don't know what the rating on this film is or will be, but I am really happy that Baz has been doing what he does best: make wonderfully exciting films!
oh! no.4 I like that Nicole Kidman has super fair skin- because I do too! Woo hoo Whiteys! I guess that really wasn't a reason why I'm excited to see this film, but oh well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Halloween and random pics

Just nap anywhere.... This was taken on sunday afternoon- please disregard the MESS in the background...but so sweet! James has this strange love affair with Laundry baskets- clean or dirty (although this one is full of clean clothes), whenever he sees one, he just can't seem to resist the urge to sit in them!
Okay let me explain this photo: James recently has discovered that he LIKES 2-d animation a la "Robin Hood" and "Fantasia", both of which are classics that I HIGHLY approve of. He just LOVES watching Fantasia 2000 and I know- its not all 2-d animation- but he's all about the Beethoven at the beginning- Beethoven, Symphony no. 5, mvt. 1. You know: da-da-da-DUM...
Well, we decided to play him the REAL version of it because, c'mon, the disney version is 3 minutes long. This picture above is the reaction. He is completely enraptured, engrossed, focused etc.etc.etc... Which, of course, we think is AWESOME!
Heeeeeere is the Halloween costume (plus dad and uncle Jesse). It took me a while to make it but darn it! It was worth it!
Side view of le petite Chef. He WAS looking at the camera- then Papa said something to him and he turned! Blast!
The Halloween boy and his Papa! It was a fun night for everyone- except me. I wasn't feeling wonderful and the 'hot dog/ potato bar" at the ward party was SO unappetizing! Plus- can you believe it- chocolate gives me heartburn! I'm so disappointed! Halloween is the ONLY holiday where you get to eat all the candy you want and I can't because it gives me burnies. It was truly a depressing experience. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

nap time

okay, I just have to add this little bit! Its too funny to not post. So, James takes his naps between 1 and 2 in the afternoon. Every day. Well, today seems to be a bit different. I "put him down" at 1pm so I could get some things picked up before my Visiting Teachers came over. Lo and behold, he comes creeping down the stairs not 2 minutes later! He let himself out of his room! I've no idea how he managed to do that! He's never opened a door on his own in his life! So, I let him stay up with me (after trying to re-locate him to his room a number of times) thinking that maybe having a later nap time would be a good thing for him- apparently not! Currently, he is banging on his door that I 1.closed and then 2. (lacking string) used my vaccum cord to KEEP closed by anchoring it to the bathroom door which is adjacent to his door. He's been crying about this for about 15 minutes and keeps alternately calling out, then YELLING, then crying, then trying the door (maybe this time it will open)- rinse and repeat. Maybe I'm a "bad" mom for thinking this is funny- but I do! 

A Bun in the Oven

Thats Right! I am expecting again! We're really happy to be making the announcement official. This new baby is due on.... June 3rd! Amy, you might share your birthday (yet again). Originally, the baby was due on June 1st, which is Drue's birthday, but I think it will be fun to have one a few days later. I hope its a girl- Drue wants one too. Not that I won't take a boy! After all, I've got all the boy stuff I'll need! Still, it will be fun to welcome a new baby of any sex into our home. As far as how I'm feeling- I think "not so hot" would be accurate. Some days are better than others of course, but I'm really right in the throes of trimester #1 (about 7 weeks) and this urpiness should diminish around week 14. Yay. Changing James' dirty diapers is so awful, and every day I hope he can just "hold it" until Drue gets home from work or school. Sometimes this works, but not too often. Drue is trying to help me keep things generally picked-up around the house but sometimes this doesn't get done either. But he's doing a great job of being a supportive husband and really trying to do everything he can to make this a bit easier for me. Bless his heart.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I thought I should post a bit about James and his talking- or lack thereof- and explain what's going on. Sorry, no pics this time... 
So, in May, James got tubes in his ears to provide an outlet for the fluid build-up and hopefully restore his hearing. In June, he tested "normal" for hearing ability. Yay!
I was particularly excited that he got his tubes in because now maybe he would being talking- hoping to hear "mama" within a month. As most of you know, this didn't exactly happen. He is enrolled in Early Intervention play group and has a Speech Therapist. We recently met with his ST and this is what she said:
James has a neurological disorder called Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS). Big words. All it means is that the motor center in his brain doesn't know AUTOMATICALLY to put lip movement, breath control, tongue placement, and palate manipulation all together to work in concert to produce a word. DAS is Genetic AND can sometimes be situational... like when he had his seizure. Think of when an older person has a stroke and has to re-learn how to speak. Its not that they don't KNOW what the words mean, its that they have to re-train their brains to form particular combinations to produce certain sounds. Thats pretty much what we're working on right now. 
Now for the good news: this is TOTALLY workable. James will be a little slower to speak, but he will speak eventually. And that is good news to us, indeed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


On August 13, Drue got hit by a car. He's fine now, but I thought I'd post pictures of the bike and some abrasion...

This is called a "taco wheel". Notice that the rim has been bent and twisted into and almost "taco shell" shape.
Just one of the many abrasions. We feel very blessed for Drue to have sustained minor injuries- considering what the REST of the bike looked like... The frame (a TREK frame) was seriously bent and the pedal on the side he was struck was pushed into a vertical position- had his foot been in it, he would have crushed all the bones in his foot.
Its times like these that make you truly thankful for the blessings and good health of your family! Drue healed like a champ! Thank you to all for your prayers and love.

Labor day- finally

So, I realize that Labor day was almost a month ago. Please forgive me. We decided to celebrate the Labors of our lives with a family trip to the temple grounds. James loved it! He had a great time running away from us as often as he could! We visited the tabernacle now that it's re-opened, and he delighted all the Sister Missionaries and older couples by wrenching out of my grip and RUNNING down the aisle to the front- disturbing all kinds of folks and laughing out loud. To be honest, it WAS cute.
James and I decided we needed to pose for a picture. I think this may be the first time I have posted a picture of myself on this blog. Aren't the flowers lovely? The ground's keepers are always wonderful and prepared for the next "flowering" season!
I think baby bottoms are the cutest things!
James decided to help the gardeners out by "cutting the grass" (read: pulling out handfuls of it)
"watering the plants" (read: shaking his sippy cup out) and "mulching" (read: depositing all the pulled up grass on the flowers). It really was a sweet gesture.
He was so proud of himself after helping. Notice the car in his hand... we can never get him to let go on one of these! He doesn't carry his blanket around like Linus, and he doesn't use a binky anymore- but the car is his security! And, instant entertainment whenever he's bored.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Auntie Mame

Every one needs an "Auntie Mame"! James just happens to be lucky enough to have a REAL Auntie Mame- my sister, Amy. This great picture of James on his new "big boy bed" features his birthday presents from Auntie Mame- Red Sheets, a new Lightning McQueen Blanket and LMcQ PJ's.
Here's his car collection! I think we have almost every car from the movie. His favorite car is the Sheriff (now we have 2) and then in close second- Doc Hudson. He is such a car boy! He can't contain his delight when he gets a new car to play with! And it's not just cars- trucks, dump trucks, loaders etc... Anything with wheels, he LOVES. On the way to church this morning we saw a "mini-loader"- like a Bobcat, and he just stood there looking at this thing- mouth agape- and then got all excited that he saw a REAL one. We just love his little bones!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The third time's the charm

I've tried to post this entry twice already, but my internet connection keeps fizzing out. So, here's the third enstallment of the Birthday Boy Saga! We were planning on having his party at the local park, but the weather god didn't check his calendar to make sure it would not be raining, so we had to make do with my house and backyard.
James got his very own cup of (watered down) sprite! He really enjoyed it.
This is what happens when you have too much to drink... even if it is just sprite- he's only 2! I wonder what his BSL (blood soda level) is?Half the party people outside while I'm cooking burgers- manning the grill so they don't burn!
This is Drue helping James open his presents! There were a BILLION kids running around my house, backyard, front yard and bathrooms. We had 22 people all crammed into my little downstairs living room and kitchen! It was HOT with that many bodies and we had the swamp-cooler on HI too! James had a great birthday party- his favorite part was when everyone started singing "Happy Birthday"- he got this enormous smile on his face and clapped when everyone was done. We DID have a difficult time blowing out the candles, though. He tried to touch them, but mom was quicker. All in all, it was a blessing to have so many friends to share his birthday with and we are grateful to everyone for their GENEROUS gifts... They were many, and James just loves them all!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad!

This is a "tandem post" with my sister to say a BIG HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (#19) to my parents: Alan and Michelle Simpson! We've been a family now for 19 years... that really seems like a long time when I put it in writing, but really, it seems to have gone on longer... or shorter. Depens on the day. I remember the day my parents got married- I can't forget it! It's my birthday! I remember jumping on the Michael's trampoline with Amy and getting our dresses dirty and ripped. (Granna was not happy about that!) I remember there was a lunar eclipse and the cake was yummy- so were the other food stuffs.
Here we are- 19 years later. And what's changed? A lot, but we remain family in a very real way!
Happy Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad- you're doing great!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The cake

Well, here it is! This is the Lightning McQueen cake I worked on for 2 days! Isn't it awesome?!
The red "icing" is a read fondant (that I also made). Unfortunately, the fondant I made is not friendly to heat, and also is not that wonderful to roll out in big sheets... Verily, I got a read fondant about 1/8 inch thick and lumpy in most places.
The tires are the wonderful Hostess Chocolate Frosted Donettes. The "windows" are white fondant, as well as the "swoop".
The anatomy of a cake: We  (Devany and I) built this cake in two steps: a regular pan "rectangle" cake and a "bowl" cake that we glued together with icing and then sculpted out McQueen's hood, side and back- adding cake where we needed to build him up.
Here's the back! Notice the tail lights? Devany had a wonderful idea- and its even better that it worked! Take those sugar-coated, "fruit wedges" and roll them out with LOTS of granulated sugar. Then, cut out your shape and stick on! They were easy and lots of fun!
 Check back for pics of the actual party!