Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Portrait Practice

We went to get some family pictures at Target last week, so I thought I'd better practice with Dorian to get him ready to be super cute on camera. As if he wasn't already a pro. P.S. No, he doesn't sit up on his own yet. Picture #5 was snapped moments before picture #7.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stocking Dilemma

So...I made these stockings last year:
Russell and I both really like blue. Our Christmas tree is all decorated in blue, silver, and gold. Anyway. My problem is that now I need to make a stocking for Dorian, and I can't find any fabric that coordinates with the original stockings. It doesn't have to be blue (in fact, I'd like it not to be), but it has to not clash. You know? Here is a close-up of the fabric pattern: I got it at that cute little fabric shop up at Gardner Village. I guess maybe I need to go there again to see if they have red or green versions of this same pattern. And buy enough this time to last through however many kids there might be in the future...But in the meantime, I just thought I would throw it out there and ask if you have any recommendations on great fabric stores or quilt shops that I should try out.

Also, just one more toothy smile:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Some Babies Get All the Hair...

Do you see them? They are much more visible when he's crying, but he won't cry for the camera. It has some captivating power over him that just makes him stare at it. Maybe I should try that in the middle of the night.

I uploaded this one a little bigger than usual, so you can click on it and get a clear view: Here, he had rolled over to the chair and gotten stuck, so of course instead of helping him, I grabbed the camera. He needs to learn how to get himself out of situations like this, right?

Monday, November 24, 2008


I always feel a little cheesy at Thanksgiving when everyone around the table has to share something they are grateful for. But I have so much goodness in my life. Here is an incomplete list:
  • Russell
  • Dorian
  • Russell's love for me
  • Dorian's sweet smiles and happy nature
  • my sisters, with whom i can talk about anything
  • my students, who let me be completely myself
  • my employers, who have given me my life as I know it
  • old friends
  • new friends
  • music
  • books. and the library.
  • opportunities to learn new things
  • unlimited possibilities
  • the power to choose
  • parents who taught me to think critically
  • a big family, with lots of nieces and nephews to love
  • electricity, running water, air conditioning, heat
  • indoor toilets
  • the internet
  • garbage pickup
  • computers
  • digital cameras
  • cell phones
  • money
  • the United States of America
  • inlaws who are so loving and generous
  • my house
  • my car
  • airplanes
  • funny tv shows like The Office and 30 Rock
  • sleep
  • cookie dough
  • forgiveness
  • truth

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Santa

Russell always claims I don't know how to spend money on myself. He says I never want anything. But I do want stuff:
  • a sewing machine (not a super expensive one, just so I can do mending and make halloween costumes and...quilts...)
  • a magic bullet (so i can make homemade baby food for dorian)
  • clothes! (i need jeans, skirts, and t-shirts that are long enough to wear without a shade shirt. shade shirts were cool before i started breastfeeding a baby.)
  • more clothes (sweaters, hoodies)
  • shoes (i only ever own two pairs of every-day shoes at a time. one black, one brown. both my pairs are worn out.)
  • magical weight loss abilities (so i can actually look cute in my new clothes)
  • books
  • Finale 2009 upgrade
  • T-Tapp
  • a Blackberry, maybe, or another phone/pda that I would like even better
Is it too early to be writing this letter?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dorian Rolls

He has been practicing this all day. At least he always ends up (approximately) back where he started, so he isn't rolling across the room yet.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sleep Training Question

I got the following comment on my sleep training post, and since many of my readers commented about having done some kind of sleep training, I thought maybe I would ask for your input again. This mom is right in the middle of it, so if you have any ideas for her, please comment quickly!
Hey, your blog was so helpful b/c I am dealing with the same issues. Our baby is four months old and we are 5 nights into sleep training. she is getting much better and at naps we can put her down awake. the issue is that we put her to bed at 7, and she has been waking up at 11/12 and will not put herself back to sleep. before we started training she would usually go to 1 or 2 and sometimes later, so we don't think she's hungry. so my husband sleep trains her at 11/12, it takes about 1.5 hours. then some nights she's woken up between 2 and 4, at which point i feed her. my question is like yours-- if this is basically behavioral training, and i make her cry at 11 but feed her at 2--- she can't distiguish, so should i not be feeding her at 2?! also, we're a bit baffled at the early 11/12 waking that won't go away... anyone have theories on that?!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's going to be okay

I'm so not into politics. So I'll keep this short. The 53% who voted for Barack Obama did so because he gave them hope. The other 47% are unfortunately left feeling rather hopeless. But you know, hope is a powerful thing. Maybe just the fact that 63 million people are feeling hopeful will make a difference, you know? And are the rest of us so interested in being right that we are going to mope around for the next 4 years while we watch our country fall apart? Just so we can say I told you so?

I'm not suggesting we fall blindly in line and start supporting everything Barack Obama says. No way; that's not what this country is about. I'm just saying. Let's move forward with our dreams. Let's stop preaching doom and gloom, and prove instead that anything is possible. Life is good. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ferber Sleep Training

This is a long post. If you don’t have a young baby or a reason to care about sleep training, just enjoy the pictures...

Dorian has always been a good sleeper. I mean, I did my share of walking him around the living room in the middle of the night for the first several weeks. But around the time he was 6 weeks old, he began sleeping a consolidated 12 hours each night (and by “consolidated,” I mean that he woke up every 3 to 6 hours to eat, but always fell back asleep immediately, without me wearing any further tracks in the living room carpet). However, a few weeks ago, he started waking up more often in the night, like every 1 or 2 hours, and crying until I either fed him or rocked him back to sleep. I knew it was time for some sleep training. I had been reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. My short review of this book is that I learned a lot of valuable things from it, but from a practical standpoint it is very poorly written and the jewels of wisdom get easily lost in Dr. Weissbluth’s repetitive, indirect writing style. So, to save you the trouble of reading the book, here is what I learned from it:

• Sleep is very important for a baby’s development. Overtired babies (and children) are cranky, and they don’t learn as well as well-rested babies.

• A young baby (younger than about 4-5 months) will generally be happiest if he is awake for only 1-2 hours at a time. If a baby is fussy and has been fed and changed, check the clock–he probably just needs to sleep.

• Around 6 weeks of age, a baby’s sleep will start organizing itself into longer periods of night sleep and shorter periods of daytime sleep.

• Sleep begets sleep–meaning, a baby who is well-rested will be able to sleep better than one who is not. So the idea of keeping a baby up during the day in order to have him sleep at night is actually counter-productive.

• Babies need to learn to fall asleep on their own, because otherwise, when they wake up in the middle of the night (which we all naturally do, several times a night), you will have to get up to put them back to sleep. Even if you don’t mind doing this, it is fragmenting the baby’s sleep, and is ultimately not healthy for them.

• There are a few different methods of sleep training, including “extinction” (letting your baby cry without any consoling) and other more gradual methods. Every baby and every family is different, and you have to decide what will work for you. In my opinion, Dr. Weissbluth did not do a great job of explaining these methods.

Then I read Dr. Richard Ferber’s Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. Now, Richard Ferber gets a bad rap. He wrote this book in 1985, and since then there have been a lot of people who have criticized him for advocating a cry-it-out method. But here’s the thing: Richard Ferber doesn’t say to just let them cry! Dr. Weissbluth actually advocated the “extinction” method over any other, saying that it will work the fastest, even if it is the hardest. I tried it. Dorian cried for an hour and a half before falling asleep, and guess what? I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t face another hour of crying, so I picked him up the next time he cried, and put off sleep training another couple of weeks. So I don’t really know if extinction works. But what did work, like magic, was Dr. Ferber’s method. All you have to do is, after a nice bedtime routine (pajamas, story, song, kiss), put him in his bed awake, and leave the room. He will cry. After 5 minutes, you can go in and comfort him (but don’t pick him up), and then leave for 10 minutes, and then 15. After that you can check on him every 15 minutes. I admit, this is still a little hard, when you know that you could just fix everything by picking him up. But it’s so much easier than just letting him cry. Anyway, the second night, you increase the intervals to 10, 15, and 20 minutes, and so on, each night after that. You do the same thing for naps. Ferber says it shouldn’t take longer than a week. For us, it took one night. One hour of crying. I still feel like some kind of magic has occurred when I kiss him, tell him I love him, lay him down in the crib, leave the room, and he is asleep within 2 or 5 or 10 minutes. But that is how it happens, every time. And even when it takes him a little longer to fall asleep, he usually just fusses a little bit, and hardly ever cries. He is so happy to see me in the morning after a good night’s sleep (12-13 hours), and his naps are also longer now (he has settled into a schedule of 3 naps, usually totaling around 4 hours of daytime sleep), so he wakes up happy instead of cranky. Before I started the sleep training, I wondered: should I keep swaddling him before I put him to bed? I was worried that if he associated being swaddled with falling asleep, he would not be able to fall back asleep if he wiggled out of his blanket (which he does with some regularity). But I decided to keep swaddling him, until one day for his nap, Russell tried putting him down without being swaddled, and it worked. That was easy. Now we swaddle him, or not, depending on the temperature of his room. I also wondered if I should keep feeding him during the night, because isn’t the goal of this sleep training to get him to sleep through the whole night? I decided to take a gradual approach. For now, if he wakes up and it has been at least 3-4 hours since he last ate, and he doesn’t seem to be self-soothing, I will feed him, and we will work on stretching the times between feedings each night. If he doesn’t wean himself off these nightly feedings by the time he gets teeth, though, then I will take a more assertive approach. In the meantime, at least he is sleeping much better between the feedings, and I feel really good about what we have accomplished! Confession: I rocked him to sleep this morning when he woke up too soon. He seemed to be in some teething distress and I couldn’t resist. I do love holding that little guy. Fortunately, naptime went fine, so I don’t think occasional indulgence will ruin him...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Four Months Old

Dorian and I were talking the other day about all the fun things he gets to learn in this life, and we started listing some of the things he has already learned how to do:

• roll from his tummy to his back
• roll from his back to his...side...
• get his thumb in his mouth
• make lots of good talking sounds
• follow mom with his eyes, wherever she is in the room
• smile and laugh
• fall asleep by himself (more on that in my next post)
• scoot around in his crib and on the floor
• play quietly by himself in his crib and on the floor
• pull himself to a sitting and standing position when we hold onto his hands
• reach his arms toward stuff...and occasionally grab it
• get daddy to stop whatever he is doing and come play
Who could resist that smile?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dorian's New Trick

I must have about 47 minutes of him just playing on his tummy. I'll spare you the first 46 and a half.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

7 Random Facts

I got tagged by Joanna. So here, for your reading pleasure, are 7 random facts about me. Turns out, I like talking about myself. :)

1. As a child, I spent most of my time in the backyard collecting rocks, and I refused to smile for photographs.

2. In elementary school, I spent 20 hours a week training as a gymnast.

3. In junior high school, I was cut from the Knowledge Bowl team because I was too afraid to buzz in.

4. In high school, I made the top 10 in the State Math Competition, I went to the national Science Olympiad competition, and I was the colorguard captain. Super geek, in other words.

5. In college, I learned that I pronounce the word “ancient” wrong. I say it as if it has an “x” in it, like “anxious.”

6. Just now, I learned that my pronunciation is acceptable. So there.

7. After college, I won $80 playing the nickel slots in Vegas. Sshhh.

Oh, I'm supposed to tag 7 people and post these rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blog.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Instead of tagging 7 random people, I'll just tag 5 of my high school friends (ooh, I'm breaking the rules): Amy, Brooke, Lauren, Debbie, and Katie.

If you guys don't feel like doing it, I won't be offended. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dorian likes to hang out in his crib. The orange wall boosts his creativity.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Dorian has had a hard time adjusting to a bottle since I've started teaching again, but yesterday and today we tried this one, which has the same nipple as his pacifier (genius), and he didn't hate it! He drank 3 ounces from the bottle yesterday and SIX today, and had two great afternoons playing with his dad. I am breathing a sigh of relief. Here's to hoping we've got this figured out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dorian's Blessing

Russell blessed Dorian on August 31. I thought he looked very handsome in his white shirt and khakis.

After the blessing, we invited our families over to our house for lunch. There were about 35 people, and surprisingly, our living room/kitchen accommodated them quite well. It was crowded but not so that we were tripping over each other or anything. I made bbq pork sandwiches, and thankfully all my sisters brought sides and both sets of parents brought dessert. The whole event made me feel like a grownup, but also gave me a lot of admiration for my parents who regularly feed groups this big, whenever we all feel like dropping in.

My nephews, Will and J.D. Aren't they cute?

More nephews, goofing off outside. Dorian is the 25th grandchild and 18th grandson on my side. He is the first on Russell's side.

Beautiful nieces, Meg and Karlee.

My sister Lorinda, holding Dorian while Karlee looks on. She was being very sweet with the baby.

Speaking of beautiful nieces, here is Rose with Dorian. She is a freshman at BYU now, so hopefully we will get to see a lot of her.

Yet another--my niece Claire and her husband Ben. Ben is my age, and loves to call my husband (3 years younger) "Uncle Russell." Funny. I can't remember what he was ranting about in this picture.

Somehow I managed to not get any pictures of many of the people that were there--Russell's parents and grandparents, my parents, most of Russell's siblings, my sister Marilee....I did get this picture of Dallin and Ginelle (in her cute cherry dress).

Can you see how much Dorian looks like my sister Carol?

Here are all the priesthood who participated in blessing Dorian. What great men he has to look up to. Nathan Jack, Allen Jack, Ben Baird, Grandpa Gailey, Russell, John Hopper, and Michael LeFevre.

Mom, Dad, and Dorian at the end of the day. Poor little guy was exhausted from entertaining all his guests.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Getting Skinny

So, we're going to get skinny now. We bought an elliptical yesterday. We bribed some friends with a truck to help us get it home. It only took 2 hours to put it together. We like it.

To motivate ourselves to actually stick with this once we get tired, bored, and discouraged, we are going to post our progress on our blog. So you all get to know exactly how much we weigh. We're not shy. We'll weigh in on Friday mornings and post our weights every week. Most of the time, we won't make a regular blog post--it will just be over on the right side of the blog. So you can ignore it if you don't care.

Here are some "before" pictures. We will wow you with the "after" pictures in April, right before we go to Hawaii. Don't forget to check back.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What did you expect?

Dorian is getting his first lesson on modes and chord functions.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tummy Time

I don't know why tummy time inspires me to get out the camera. I guess I'm just so darn proud of how high he can hold up his head.