Sunday, October 31, 2010

chick cheat! (trick or treat)

So it's no secret that I decided Annabelle would be a cowgirl for Halloween for the sole purpose of buying her pink cowboy boots. But throw in a little bowleggedness (she's got a tad bit bowed legs), a pink bandanna, and a cowboy hat, and oh man. Halloween just got really cute.

Friday, October 29, 2010

gooey goodness

So our Belle is a very dainty little lady. She loves to strut around in heels, she routinely requests a "neck" (necklace) or "ink" (earrings), she tip toes around messes, and she hates getting her hands dirty. She knows how to use her fingers to eat food; she just really hates doing it because then she knows she'll be messy. Once, when we were in the car, she was eating some French fries (don't you judge me), and requested some "wat." I handed back her sippy and looked back to see why she wouldn't take it. She was trying to figure out how to grab the cup without the use of her greasy fingers, naturally. She finally managed to palm the cup with both hands, her little greasy digits sticking out, far away from the cup.

So when Grandma Cheney broke out the pumpkins this year, I didn't expect that she'd want anything to do with that gooey mess. Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong. Our girl is a happy girl, but her giggles are reserved for only the most funny moments of her life. (Or the funny faces her Aunt Danielle makes, which always make her curl up in a fit of giggles.) But give her a pile of pumpkin goo, then let her splat in on the floor? GIGGLES. The kind that bubble up without any control. 

And messes. I cleaned up pumpkin guts from every surface imaginable. And I'm pretty sure that if you looked hard enough, you could still find remnants of her hard work. (Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for letting us slime your kitchen.) And because I really don't feel like being picky, what follows is a whole lot of pumpkin-gut-mess-adorable photos. Our little toddler often acts more like an adult than a baby; it was actually refreshing to see her have these moments of pure, childish joy.

And further proof that she is indeed a child:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

oh, the weather outside

So our apartment is flanked by tall, beautiful trees. However, the development planner must have momentarily lost a marble when he decided planting said trees right next to the buildings was an awesome idea. Because when there is a wind/rain storm (and we're at the base of a canyon, so we catch more wind than we prefer), our apartment (on the top level, right where the branches are) gets beat to pieces. It's as though the trees are bound and determined to dismantle the building by sunrise, and they'll do it by force! Sunday night was one of those storms. It was loud and obnoxious and little sleep was had. (Except Annabelle - she slept through the whole thing? Weird?) (By the way, why do these wind storms occur only during my sleeping hours and not during the hours when I could at least be accomplishing something? I'm just saying.)

However, when we woke up and opened our window to this (the view from our bedroom window):

I couldn't make myself be mad anymore. Because you see, although much of this state starts to cringe and cry when the weather turns cold, I start doing a happy dance. Not only do I love cold weather (including snow, although I'm sure I'll be sick of it by April), but I also love the way the world appears in the cold. It isn't dead and gray to me. It's frozen and quiet and beautiful. If we're being honest, I love every season except summer, which I really believe could be discarded in favor of extending one of the others, and winter is no exception. The nip in the air holds the promise of the upcoming holidays and all the magic and love and good cheer that accompanies those days. Last night, we got some snow that stuck. The temperatures took a serious dip, and we woke up to this:

And so, even though I am currently in the market for a chainsaw (Oh that's weird, the tree outside my window lost all its branches? Don't know what happened...), I'm happy as a clam to see summer fade into this wonderful chilly fall.

P.S. I'm also more than happy to herald the tights season. Oh man do I love a little Midge in tights.
 {She's totally rocking out right here, if anyone was wondering. In heels no less.}

 {Still doesn't like to tip her cup - reclining is just so much easier.}
 {She's trying to "wear" a tiny tiny flip flop eraser.}

 And remember this little little Midge in tights? Oh man.
Happy Tights Season, Ya'll. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


So before Annabelle could use words to communicate, I thought I'd teach her a little sign language. (I took four years of ASL in college, although I am way less than fluent.) I started with the sign for "please." One day when she was sitting on my lap, I repeated the sign a few times, and bam. She was saying please every other second. The first few months of please were brutal - you see, her vigorous signing was so stinking cute, we couldn't say no to anything. She got everything she wanted with the mere wiggle of the sign. After that, we decided we were being totally taken advantage of and decided to stunt her learning development. We didn't teach her anymore signs. Of course, she didn't care and started using words.

Especially in the last few weeks, she's been gobbling words up like they're candy (and she does say "can!" for candy or "choc!" for chocolate). I say something, my little parrot spits it right back out. When something fell down from my closet, I said, "Oh, shoot!" (I'm really not a curser) and for the rest of the day my little parrot said, "Oh shoot! Oh shoot!" except hers sounded a little more like the curse. When she got concerned about the sound of the lawnmower outside our apartment complex, I took her out to show her what was making the noise and told her it was a lawnmower. For the next hour while they mowed, I heard, "Mawnmower? Mawnmower!" She routinely requests a "high bibe!" or "bow" (bones) or a "hea bup" (head bump) or a "lub" (love) and sometimes even a "kibb" (kiss). She knows how to ask for "wat" (water) or a "bott" (bottle - which means both bottle and milk), and when a loud vehicle passes the apartment, she announces "Ruck! Ruck!" (truck). She loves all "ah-mulls" (animals), and I think my favorite aunt's name is "Coke!" (Courtney), although she does a really good "Whit-KNEE" (emphasis on the second syllable).

She loves her "wome" (glowworm) and points out witches (witch!!) and pumpkins (punk!) wherever we go. She likes eating "gurt" (yogurt) and "nugs" (nuggets). She loves hiding things in her "pock," and one day requested an "ink" (earring) by pointing back and forth from her ear to mine. When she knows we're getting ready to go somewhere or she just wants to leave, she asks, "Shop?! Shop?!" which is to say, "Are we leaving?" more than it means she wants to actually purchase something. When her Uncle Jeremy's dog, Shadow, was visiting, she quickly picked up his name and we now routinely hear, "Shadow! NO NO! Sha-dough!" (even though he's nowhere to be seen). She lets me know when things are "haw" (hot) or "weh" (wet), and particularly loves "ray!!!" (rain). When she sees football on the TV (any team), she shouts with double fist pumps, "GO OOTS!" (I realize that as a Cougar, I should probably correct this, but it's way too cute.) And when she knows she's done something pleasing, she proclaims, "Goo grrr!" (good girl).

And while every day it seems new words are tumbling out of her mouth, until recently we weren't able to get her to use her mouth to say please. It was confusing to her and she'd just wiggle the please, followed by the appropriate "Tank ewe." Until a few days ago. Now, not only does she do the irresistible wiggled please sign, but she also smiles and very sweetly says, "Peas?"

Dang. It. Kid is going to get away with murder.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

post op rewind

So remember when I mentioned that the bump on my thyroid was benign? What I didn't mention is that when they do that initial test in the operating room, it's only 95% accurate. There's a small margin of error, so small that you generally just go with the diagnosis, although they do continue to test and disect the removed portion.

Today I went in for a check up with the endocrinologist. The main reason for the visit was to check my hormone levels (after removing half the thyroid, sometimes the other half thinks it wants to work or overwork) and adjust if necessary. When she walked in, she said with big eyes, "Did you see your pathology report?!" I told her that I was told it was benign, but that's it. She's all, "Oh, check this out. You'll never believe this." She then proceeds to read that in the middle of the removed portion of my thyroid, they discovered a "trabecular neoplasm," which is to say in terms we can digest without the aid of a few Tums, there was a small cancerous tumor in my thyroid. Had it been left alone, it would've grown and taken over the thyroid (and theoretically, it could also further spread, although very unlikely).


Because I have Hashimoto's, nodules on the thyroid are pretty common, and my chances for having cancer were less than five percent. Less than five percent. If I'd just had a biopsy done, it would've been missed entirely and would've continued to grow.

I feel incredibly blessed. And lucky. And I want to kiss my nurse practitioner for following her gut. And then my endocrinologist for supporting me in removing the thing instead of just poking it.

On the bright side, my hormone levels look great. I will take hormonal supplements and be monitored for the rest of all time, and the right side of my thyroid will be specifically monitored for any growths (in hindsight, of course, we wish the whole thing was just removed, and had the surgeon known at the time, he would've removed it all). But for all intents and purposes: I am "cured," but will always be considered a "potential cancer risk."

I am one of the lucky ones, who had cancer and then didn't all in the span of ten seconds. I don't really have any words tonight, to say how grateful and lucky I feel. I just want to hug and squeeze every person within my grasp. Simply because I can.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

knocking on wood

I haven't much to say, except
I think it's really finally here.
(Knock on wood.)
That season I've been 
praising for a month now.
And so the pictures of the child 
with pumpkins can begin.
Because what kid doesn't look
adorable surrounded by pumpkins?

Friday, October 15, 2010

making it official

So he did graduate, and he did take and pass the bar, but none of this was official until he was sworn in to the Utah Bar Association. It was a grand event with hundreds of clerks-about-to-turn-lawyers and their many, many family members there to support them. And while it's just a simple swearing in, a raising of the hand, a repeated oath, even Jess said he felt different when it was all said and done.

What impressed me most about the ceremony was how the judges and others who spoke emphasized most the need for them to be just and true, to do good in the world. I think sometimes lawyers get a bad rap, but I think plenty more do plenty good. And I hope Jess is one of those lawyers.

And so it's official. He's a lawyer.

Congrats Daddy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

tis the season (to eat)

Confession: I really dislike Halloween. It's dark and evil and it makes it perfectly acceptable to glorify blood and gore and deception. Of course, I do love the food that often accompanies the holiday, and I refuse to completely turn my back on a perfectly good excuse to eat. First up: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These come courtesy of my favorite recipe blog. They take a little more time than the regular muffin (I generally keep my prep materials to a bowl and a spoon, so this is way beyond for me), but they are more worth it than you can ever imagine. As an added bonus, you'll get to enjoy the cinnamony smell of Christmas while they bake.

And here's a sneak peek of a Halloween costume to come:

I figure that if I have to dress my kid up, I might as well make it a good excuse to buy pink cowboy boots (!).


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