Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Simple Joys in Life are...Eating and Sleeping!

As many of you may know, Brooklyn LOVES her food! She has enjoyed eating since day one and she'll eat just about anything. Just for fun, I thought I would catch her on video eating some chicken and stove top stuffing. The whole time I was feeding her she kept saying "Mmmmm Yummy!" You'll notice toward the end of the video she'll start opening her mouth and leaning forward really dramatic so that I'll feed her faster. Then she decides she is done with the video and nicely tells me "Bye Bye!"

This next video is narrated by Kevin so you'll have a good idea what is going on just by listening. Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2009


On Friday Brooklyn threw a major tantrum! She was screaming, arching her back, and throwing punches. I sat her on my lap and held her against me so she couldn't headbutt me and tried to calm her down. She kept screaming and eventually managed to wriggle her arm free. She then pointed at the front door, looked me dead in the face, gave me the worst crusty she could and yelled "Daddy!" She was obviously letting me know that she no longer needed my assistance and wanted to trade me for her daddy RIGHT NOW! Nice.

Last night Brooklyn refused to go to bed. She couldn't actually get out of her bed, but she let us know that she didn't want to be there by screaming for 2 hours before eventually falling asleep. You would have thought she was being murdered except for the brief intervals where she would stop screaming and sweetly say "daddy? ...daddy?" I slept with my ipod to block out the noise. (Kevin's better at zoning out that kind of stuff than I am.) She woke up this morning hoarse from all the screaming. Go Brooklyn!

This morning I thought I would be extra nice to Brooklyn so I made her a smoothie for breakfast (just a cup of orange juice blended with a cup of frozen strawberries) and put it in a sippie cup for her. She was SO happy and started sucking it down immediately. Then all of the sudden she pulled her sippie cup out of her mouth and started screaming bloody murder before quickly popping it back in her mouth. She did that a few more times before I figured out that she was giving herself a brain freeze but didn't want to stop drinking her smoothie. I ended up microwaving the smoothie for her and then she was as happy as a clam!

I just put Brooklyn down for a nap. Things were quiet for about 30 minutes and then I heard her talking to herself. She started saying "down" and then it got really quiet...a few seconds later I heard her ripping things off her toy shelf. I guess she finally figured out how to get out of bed! That ought to make bedtime even more interesting!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Random Things I Thought You Would Want To Know:

I didn't wash laundry for 2 weeks because I hate lugging my laundry down the stairs... outside... around the building... and then paying $1.25/load! The result...Poor Kevin had to wear my Snoopy Christmas socks to work because he didn't have any black socks left, and then I had to wash 7 loads of laundry which cost me $17.50!!! And since we only have one laundry basket, it took me a total of 9 trips to the laundry room to get it all done! DON'T PROCRASTINATE! It STINKS!

It's finally starting to look like Spring here, but don't let that fool you. When you look out the window it is beautiful and Sunny with NO snow to be seen...However, it is SO cold that when I went to take Kevin to work this morning our car lock was frozen closed. We had to crawl through the other door to get it open and then when we tried to shut it, the closing mechanism froze and the door wouldn't shut. We had to drive to Kevin's work holding the door closed! On a positive note...The cold does make very pretty statues around our apartment to look at. Here is a water fountain in front of our building. It was flowing perfectly just yesterday!

Brooklyn's hair is long enough for pigtails now! She reminds me of Teya when she has them in. It's fun to do her hair because she sits really still and always says "Oooo Pretty" When I'm done! As I mentioned before, Brooklyn really loves to look at herself, but who can blame her!? She is VERY cute!

Another cute habit that Brooklyn has picked up is playing dress up. Ever since Aunt Janna sent her the colorful scarf, Brooklyn has been putting EVERYTHING around her neck! She wears snakes and socks and our shirts if we lay them around, but she prefers the scarf. She also likes to wear things that make her look like mommy. She steals my glasses all the time as well as my high heals and necklaces. I took this video right after I dropped a basket on the floor that had some sunglasses in them. They were the first thing she noticed.

Today for playgroup, our ward met at the church and one of the ladies did an aerobics class for us while our children ran wild. It was actually very fun and she was really good. Natalie ran the class, she is the one with the little boy and train in front of her. Leanne (who is my visiting teacher) had to do the class with her baby in her arms or on her lap because she wouldn't stop crying. She is the one doing dips with the baby in pink. Brooklyn kept blowing raspberries on my tummy during ab exercises which made them ever harder. I took a picture of her mid crunch! Jenny and Amy also participated and I think we all had a great time!

Here is a short clip of our setup. It gives you a pretty good idea of what our work out environment was like!

Monday, March 9, 2009


On Saturday we were driving to the grocery store and Kevin spit out the window. Brooklyn looked up at me and said "eeee doddy gucky!" (Eeew Daddy's Yucky!) She also says Eeew Yucky! every time we change her diaper or wipe her nose.

Whenever we walk up the stairs into our apartment Brooklyn says "GO! GO! GO!" because I always cheer her on when she is climbing the stairs.

Brooklyn is totally in love with the teddy bear that Joseph gave her when she was born. She walks around looking for it saying "beer? beer?" (bear? bear?)

Today I was holding Brooklyn's hand and walking her to her room so she could take a nap. While we were walking she kept saying "nah nah, nah nah" (night night, night night)

Brooklyn likes to say daddy way more than mommy, however, whenever she gets hurt, I'm the one she wants. Today she jumped off her bed...OVER the railing and smashed into the floor. I heard the thump...a pause... and then..."MEEEEEEMEEEEEEEE! (Mommy)

Ever since we spent time living with Gizmo, Brooklyn has been in love with dogs. On Saturday we met one of Kevin's friends from work who had a big dog. I whistled so it would come and see me. Now whenever Brooklyn sees a dog she says "Goggie!" and then she blows air through her lips in the attempt to whistle.

Because Brooklyn likes to be free to wonder as she pleases, she has gotten really good at saying "Down" whenever she wants to walk around. I took her to church by myself on Sunday because Kevin was sick and she spent the majority of the 3 hours sitting on my lap saying "down? no no! down?" It was awesome!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

For Grandpas and Grandmas...

This is a totally random (and maybe boring) video but I thought Brooklyn's Grandmas would appreciate it. Its still too cold out here to go play at a park but Brooklyn feels cramped up if she doesn't get outside at least once a day. So I put a blanket, some pillows, and some toys on our deck and when Brooklyn gets cranky, I open the door and let her go at it. If you pay close attention you will be able to tell that Brooklyn is dancing to the songs on her learning table. Pretty cute!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Summing Up the END of February

Well, even though the snow comes and goes here, it is still freezing cold and thus, impossible to gather the motivation to leave the house. SO, in order to stave off the cabin fever, Kevin and I have been trying to be creative with what we have inside the house. This month we made a sugar cookie into the Eiffel Tower! We also made a birdhouse out of Popsicle sticks, added a sliding tray to our desk so the printer is easier to access and started an indoor greenhouse to get a jump on Spring!

Here is Brooklyn watching her daddy through the window while he builds the shelf for our printer.

Brooklyn's hair is finally long enough for a pony's kind of wussy but at least it is possible. She is pretty obsessed with herself lately. She loves to put bows, flowers and headbands in her hair and then she sits in front of the hall mirror and touches her head while saying "petty" (pretty) over and over again.

Brooklyn is walking like crazy now. The only time she crawls is when she needs to get to something to help her stand up so she can walk. She loves to play outside on our deck, even when it is freezing outside and has recently learned (from cousin Wes) that it is fun to jump off the couch onto stacks of blankets and pillows. She is also trying to talk now. She mostly jabbers in Ewok but can now speak a few words in English as well. Her vocabulary consists of: Mommy, Daddy, up, down, no, bear, baby, eew, cracker, and "there it is" (pronounced de ee aye).

The last weekend of February, Brian and Natalie came back to visit us. Brooklyn was so happy to have Wes back. She really loves him and worships the ground he walks on. While they were here we got to drive down town and visit the Children's Museum! Here are some random pictures from our visit:

This is Wes and Brooklyn in the safety section of the museum.
Here is Kevin and Brooklyn under the fake Sears Tower!

Kevin trying to help Sydney feel like she was part of the crew. She doesn't seem to be enjoying his efforts!

Brooklyn and Wes playing in the water works section. They could have stayed here all day!

Brian and Wes pounding on pot lids in the noise department

Brooklyn and her daddy racing balls down the ramp

After our visit to the museum, we had a lot of time to relax and visit. Here is Brooklyn and Wes just chillin on the couch. This picture was taken right after Brooklyn had a total come apart because she wanted to sit next to Wes and I was in the way...she got her point across!

Last but not least, Brooklyn is doing really well at sleeping in her "Big Girl" bed. She wiggles a lot in her sleep and never wakes up where we left her, but she is staying in the bed. Although, the other night I woke up at 4 in the morning to the sound of her hitting the floor. She had fallen asleep staring over the edge of the bed. Eventually her head had too much fun flirting with gravity and she hit the deck! She was still mostly asleep when I raced into her room and scooped her up from the floor!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Change is inevitable . . . except from a vending machine.

It's not very often that I start into a new job, and have everything about my life turned completely around.  It's not something that you really plan for or anticipate.  From moving to a new location, assuming a new lifestyle, and being around new people, sometimes its seems like everything changes! But to wax philosophical, change is neither good nor bad, it simply is. 

Here are some examples of changes that I've had to get used to, and how I'm (trying) to make them positive ones!

#1) Taxes! Holy Cow, you start bringing home a salary from work, and all the sudden it's okay to take a MUCH more sizable chunk out of your paycheck to pay for things like more toll roads, so you can pay even MORE taxes.  Illinois is also one of the only states that has a state income tax, sales tax and a massive property tax.  I found out that most states only make people pay 1 or 2 of those three.  Really cool places like Illinois, California and New York have all three! This translates into paying more money for everything, from the money taken out of the paycheck, to rent and even groceries!
 The benefit: Someday, when I move out of Illinois to a location less taxing, it will seem like I got a huge raise! Then, I'll invest in a big swimming pool where I'll store my money, and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck.

#2) Driving! I remember when doing my internship with UDOT, I found a route to work that only took me through 4 stoplights . . . for the entire 12 mile commute.  Living in a place like Chicago however, does not allow for wide open streets like that, and it seems that every location where two streets cross, there's a stoplight!  The result of this (and wicked-crazy traffic) is that while my commute here is quite shorter (only 8 miles), I pass through several dozen stoplights, and the commute is twice as long!  Not only that, but the Metra rail line runs right in between my home and my office, and because the commuter rail taking people downtown is so frequent, I'm guaranteed to get stopped going to work, and coming home probably 9 out of 10 times!  I'm definitely not used to being in the car for so long and traveling such short distances.

Benefit: Living in a place that's so condensed, well, everything is a tad closer! When I'm at work, I've got a gym across the street (see next point), at home there's a Walmart and a Home Depot a stone's throw away!  If Naomi and I want to watch a movie, boom! There's a Redbox across the street, and I can run and grab it and be home in less than 10 minutes!  If I'm working on a home improvement project and need something from the hardware store, boom! I'm off on foot and home in no time flat!

#3)Sedentary Office Life:  When I was Junior high, I'd get home from school, strap on the roller blades and play street hockey with my friends until it got so dark we couldn't see the puck and someone got whacked in the head!  As a Missionary, I didn't see a problem if I had to walk 10-12 miles a day doing the work missionaries do!  As a college student, hardly a day went by that I wasn't biking to classes, jogging up a canyon, playing Frisbee, soccer, volleyball, refereeing a laser tag game at some park or doing any other assortment of physical activity.  The one thing I was definitely not prepared for was an 8 to 5 office desk job!  I noticed very quickly that at about 3:00 every afternoon, my legs started to bounce around and get a nervous twitch!  It is most definitely a very difficult thing to get used to!

Benefit: While I actually have yet to find a benefit to sitting in a cubicle chair for 40 hours a week, here's what I've done to keep myself moving and not go insane.  (Insane Lunatics don't keep their jobs as Structural Engineers, and I'm all about being a good employee and producing results!)  
-I rarely send emails to people in my office.  Every chance I get, I get up and go talk to people.  
-I drink ridiculous amounts of water.  This ensures that I have to get up and go to the bathroom at least 5-6 times a day.  Sometimes more . . . (I said ridiculous amounts).
-I got a gym pass! I now pack a lunch and just eat it at my desk.  Then, during my lunch break, I hoof it over to the gym across the street and work out!  Lately I've been swimming in the pool, because nothing wears me out in less time!  I'm up to 20 laps, 3-4 times  a week, and I love it! 

So I'm sure that there are people out there who have made even larger changes than me, so if anyone has any advice on what to do about these wild changes, let me know!

And no, I don't really swim with white tigers . . . but seriously, wouldn't that be cool!