It snowed this week in Albuquerque. And, I know some people think that Albuquerque is a barren desert, so this is to prove that it's actually a relatively undiscovered and lush oasis. See for yourself.
December 19, 2008
It snowed this week in Albuquerque. And, I know some people think that Albuquerque is a barren desert, so this is to prove that it's actually a relatively undiscovered and lush oasis. See for yourself.
at 6:08 PM
December 15, 2008
Happy birthday to Reba. She really doesn't like to be called Reba, but when I've tried to call her Rebecca she thinks I'm mad at her. Anyway, Happy birthday to Rebecca Grace Jewkes Bell.
She's getting up there in years (27) so I think it might be nice to help her pass this difficult birthday with a mutual tribute to her. For those who want to participate, please answer the following two questions:
- What's one of your favorite memories of or with Rebecca?
- What's one of your favorite things about Rebecca?
I'll share mine. Note, I don't expect your memory or favorite thing to be long, like mine. A couple sentences are fine.
1. One of my favorite memories with Rebecca is when she was pregnant with Oliver. She was having severe early contractions and was put on bed rest (or, at least, her version of it) which was very, very hard on her. We rented a wheelchair for her and almost every night we would drive a few miles to a beautiful neighborhood that had a big pond people would walk or rollerblade around. I would push her and we would wheel around the pond talking for a half hour or hour. It was sad to see such an active person cooped up in a little apartment with few friends and no family around, and these old person walks were about all she had to look forward to. It gave us a chance to talk and hang out alone with no distractions and before long these walks became the highly anticipated best part of my day too.
2. One of my favorite things about Rebecca is the way her face sparkles when she talks. I don't know how to describe it, but it is one of the sparkliest faces I've ever scene and you probably know what I'm talking about. It's very charming. In addition, but in the same family, is the expressiveness her face has when she speaks. That's the first thing I fell in love with; the many animated faces she makes when she talks. If I try to make the faces I look goofy, but they're all pretty on her.
Another thing I love about her is her transparent honesty. It's hard for Rebecca to hide how she truly feels about things, which makes for some cute, funny reactions to things.
Happy Birthday, Reebs.
at 5:24 PM
December 14, 2008
December 12, 2008
My friend, Rachel, tagged me, so here goes:
4 Things I did yesterday
*Went on a little jog with Ollie in the double jogger I bought on craigslist- had to stop at the end because I got a really painful cramp (again!)
*Made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch for Oliver and my friend, Rachel
*Made 2 batches of cookies (chocolate peanut butter chip and M&M cookies)
*Went to my first-ever gift card exchange Christmas party
4 things I'm looking forward to
*Opening this huge Christmas present that arrived yesterday- I have NO idea what it is and I'm no good at surprises. I want to know!
*You know those wheels that gerbils run around and around on in their cages? Well, sometimes I feel I have a little gerbil inside me running on one of those wheels and frankly, I'm excited to get it out (15 weeks left and counting)!
*Going out to a nice restaurant on my birthday (hint, hint).
*Seeing the excitement in Oliver's eyes when he sees the Cars paraphanelia we got him for Christmas.
4 Restaurants I like
*Potbelly's (best turkey sandwiches in the world, only in Dallas)
4 Favorite TV shows
*Kath & Kim (can you tell waht I'm doing on Thursday nights???)
at 12:17 PM
December 8, 2008
For the first 2 yrs of his life, Oliver was one of the easiest and happiest kids in New Mexico's history. He's still relatively easy and happy, but capriciousness and contrariness have finally emerged in the lad. When you give him a meal that isn't anything resembling hot he protests he can't eat it because it's too hot. But in the morning when he makes a panicked face after the first bite of his scalding daily oatmeal--which he won't grant me any time to cool off in the freezer--and I tell him it's hot, he insists, "no daddy, iss not hot, iss nummy." Sometimes he LOVES to sing songs, then the next minute he'll say (whether your singing for his pleasure or not) "No, don't seen dat, don't seen dat sawn." He won't eat his food when it's in front of him, but the second it's taken away it's "I waan bite!" Sometimes you'll refer to some thing by it's proper name "oh look, Oliver, there's a bus," to which he violently shakes his head and corrects "No, Daddy, das not a bus, das a haa-da-do (helicopter)" or vice versa, even though he knows perfectly well which is which. He just doesn't want you getting to uppity about things, or thinking he's your lackey.
Some other stuff he's doing and saying lately:
He's still obsessed with cars, trucks, motorcycles, helicopters, planes and buses. One can track some of his other interests back to his environment (like the big shark encyclopedia I introduced him to), but the car thing is 100% le natural Olivier. He can't get enough of them. He still is carrying one or two of his cars with him everywhere he goes, begs to watch the movie Cars everyday, and is never happier than when I show him pictures of exotic cars online. He could do this all day long.
I'm one of those obnoxious parents who's always peeking in the window on him in nursery. Not to stalk the nursery leaders, but because watching Otto in foreign environments without his folks around is fascinating to me. I want a picture of how the individual Oliver Bell interacts with the world. Anyway, a couple times I noticed him cruising around while most the other kids were sitting still during lesson or singing time, so one day I asked on the of the nursery leaders for honest feedback on his behavior and attention span. She said he's really sweet and usually well-behaved but does sometimes have a tough time sitting still and when she tries to hold him on her lap, he starts yelling "Owe, Owe, you're hurting me!" Then tonight, Reba was telling him (from a distance, with no physical coercion involved) to go from the couch to the kitchen to eat, which for some reason didn't suit his schedule. So I hear him yell "Be Sofff! Your hitting me!"
He also cheers "YAAYYYY" and claps at the end of each nursery song, which sets off all the others to do the same. Not standard practice.
You'll tell him something lately and he'll say "I know, that's awesome."
He'll spontaneously tell you "I'm happy."
My favorite part of the day is when I get back from Seminary at 7 and he's awake playing in his crib. He usually wakes up somewhere between 6 and 6:30 but he contents himself until the caretakers are ready. He'll pull a book from a shelf by his crib and peruse it, or he'll play with his cars or Sammy Shark. Before I get him up for breakfast and our morning snuggle, i'll listen for interesting monologue. The other morning I heard and saw this:
He pulls his Sammy Shark close to his face and says. "wass a mattow Thammy? Are you dye-een (crying)? Don't Dye Thammy. You dopped yo dada (car)?" Then he stands up and looks over the edge for the car. "I doen know, Thammy, I doen see it."
My favorite quirk is his failure to reverse the way adults use "you," "me," "my" when he's speaking about himself. So long ago, when he needed something we couldn't understand, we would say "show me." So now he'll run up to us and say "show me, show me." instead of "show you." Or he'll pull at my hand and say "I help you, I help you," or "I hold you, I hold you daddy." The best one is when he wants to sit in your lap, it comes out "I waan (pronounced 'jaun') sii my lap."
The other thing he does that kills me is he adds the longest fffff you've ever heard to every word ending with a p. Cupffff, upffff. So the lap-sitting request is actually "I waan sii my lapffff" It's so cute. He's actually starting to grow out of the ffff ending and it makes me sad.
He's very serious about completing some tasks, like cleaning up. Reebs and I are now nursery leaders in his nursery so we get to watch him clean up. Most kids lose interest after a few toys in the bucket, but not this guy. He's scouring the four corners of the place for any unseen toy with the single-mindedness matched only by his mom's business-mode cleaning.
When something is really special he'll put a "dobby" (rhymes with Robby) in front of it. Have no idea what it means, but I think it means awesome. It usually shows up when he wants one of us to draw a "dobby shwutch" (truck) or a "dobby dada."
He's still super cuddly, which keeps Reba and I happy.
at 7:48 PM
December 7, 2008
Christian bought this van about a week ago for his business and parked it outside our driveway for a couple days until we could get a roof rack, signage, and get it registered. The first morning after we bought it, my retired armed forces neighbor, whom I have spoken to all of twice shows up at my door at 9:30 (and of course I had exercised, gotten dressed and presentable at that late hour...or I might have just been in my p.j.'s) and with a somewhat concerned look on his face asked me, "Are you okay? (Pause.) It's just that there's an unmarked, parked van outside your driveway and it's been there all night." When it dawned on me what he was saying, I quickly explained that, yes, I was okay, it is our van that we just bought, etc., etc.
It's official, folks: We own a kidnapping/rapist/whatever other creepy thing van. The kind that your Mom always told you to steer clear of.
at 8:24 AM
December 4, 2008
A few days after Thanksgiving, we made it out to the "Christmas Corral" (think pumpkin patch- pumpkins+ Christmas trees) to get a tree. Oliver was really excited to see the inflatable snowman when we got there, but wouldn't even get within 10 feet of it, even when the "snow" was turned on. He was too scared. Then, we dumped him off at the gingerbread house and let him play in the cornbox with all the trucks while we picked a tree. Which, since it was a little chilly and very windy, took about 1 minute. I'm not one to brave the cold and I won't even fake it, not even for a festive Christmas tree farm. Since our tree last year was a meager 4 feet to this year's 6-7 feet, we had to double up on decor. So, Oliver got to run around with the garland for a few days while I got the rest of the decorations. If you're wondering what to get him for Christmas, here's an idea: garland. I've never seen him so enamored in his life.
For those of you who are wondering, yes, he still asks to wear his "handsome outfit," (a.k.a., tie).
at 8:12 AM
November 28, 2008
Pre-dinner play. It was a cold, rainy Thanksgiving day.
at 12:06 PM
November 23, 2008
Christian got Oliver dressed for church this morning and after he finished, he pulled Oliver off his changing table and said, "Handsome outfit!" So, for the next 30 minutes before we left, Oliver was running around the house repeating, "Handsome outfit!" Well, the first time he ran past me I said, "Handsome boy!" He stopped right there and very seriously said, (I can't recall now if he was wagging his finger at me or not.) "No, it's not a handsome boy, Momma, it's a handsome outfit." And he was off again. So, in tribute to his Sunday outfit this morning and some other gems this week, here goes:
We got him a potty this week and though we are not yet "training" him, he is VERY excited about it and is always asking to go to the bathroom. I guess I should take that as a sign???
at 1:59 PM
November 18, 2008
Here we go again! I love reading these, and since I seriously lack in the creativity department, I thought instead of sorting through my mind to figure out another post, I'd let the tag template do the work for me. Here goes:
What is your husbands name? Christian, though family and friends pre-college know him as Chris, which I think is a rather unattractive alternative to Christian. So, I've stood my ground and when we are with his family, I am still the ONLY one to refer to him as "Christian."
How long have you been married? 3 1/2 years
How long did you date? Almost 6 months. I know- embarrassing.
How old is he? 28, almost 29
Who eats more sweets? Me. Though pregnancy has kind of flipped that for us and he has had quite a few notable binges.
Who said I love you first? Christian
Who is taller? Christian- by almost a whole foot
Who can sing the best? This is a tough one. I used to think I could sing fairly well, but I'm realizing that I have a hard time remembering a tune, for which I attract constant laughs. Christian has an incredible voice and could totally moonlight as a lounge singer.
Who is smarter? Christian. He's one of the smartest people I know and he is always eager to learn new things.
Who does the laundry? Funny. Do I want to be able to find my clothes? I do it.
Who pays the bills? Moi.
Who mows the lawn? Christian. I kind of can't stand the smell of freshly cut grass.
Who cooks dinner? If you'd like a mean grilled cheese: Christian. I actually LOVE to cook, it's one of my favorite things.
Who drives? Christian.
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Christian. I think he would say that I'm getting better at this, though.
Who kissed who first? This is how it went down. Christian and I were chatting in my car at the end of the night one night and all the sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I see him coming towards me. It was so unexpected and quick that he literally had me pinned against the window of my car before I realized what was happening. Needless to say, it wasn't the greatest kiss, but it has made for some good storytelling.
Who asked who out first? Christian. We met in a tanning salon. I was working and he was, well...stuff that you do in a tanning salon.:) J/K. He was buying books there (long story).
Who wears the pants? This is a tough one b/c it depends and we are both pretty stubborn. But, if I had to answer, I would say Christian.
at 1:01 PM
November 9, 2008
My phone drown, so all my contact info was lost.
So if you would all (except for Jewkes people. I have yours through Reba) please leave a comment (or email me, if you want to keep things on the down low, firstname.lastname@example.org) with your home and cell numbers, I'd be grateful.
at 5:30 PM
November 7, 2008
I was majorly hustling that night b/c I was the only one to decide to make two boards. And all this in under 4 hours!
Last week, we had a little craft night for just the girls at my friend, Jill's house. Tara, the resident craft person extraordinare taught us all how to make these fall boards ad I must say, I was pretty impressed with how they turned out, especially considering my lack of artistic ability. Tara was an awesome teacher and helper. It is so much fun to get out with just girls. Next GNO: TWILIGHT!!!:)
at 7:38 AM
November 5, 2008
If you didn't have the chance to hear Oprah's comments on ABC's election coverage last night with Robin Roberts, you need to hear it. You can watch it here:
If you can't access it there, just go to abcnews.com and look up Oprah, "I've been vibrating all night", and/or interview with Robin Roberts. I only saw until the last 1:25. It's too bad, too, b/c there were some real gems after that minute that I wish I would have seen.
I am not a hugely political person- I leave that up to Christian, but I could not help myself. On a side note, while I am not disappointed or excited about the presidential elections last night (though it was a HORRIBLE night for New Mexican politics in my opinion) the good news is- no, the GREAT news is that Prop 8 passed in California. I salute all those people that worked so incredibly hard and even endured persecution to get that passed.
at 9:25 AM
November 4, 2008
Our Halloween was underrated I think, after reading everyone's posts about how they took their kids trick-or-treating 4 times, to neighborhood parties, and on hay rides. We went to our ward trunk-or-treat and then went trick-or-treating on Halloween. And I still felt like that was a bit over the top! It was so fun, though to get Oliver all dressed up in his froggy outfit. We also made it out to our pumpkin patch, which turned out to be really fun. We babysat for a family in our old ward this weekend, which meant that we took Oliver, along with their 4-year-old and 2-year-old out on the actual night. It was fun to take the three little guys in their costumes.
Oliver just learned how to say "cheese" when we take a pic, hence the staged smile. Posing in front of the pumpkin that I carved all by myself (Oliver was too grossed out and Christian needed to rest his wrist.)
at 8:03 AM
November 1, 2008
I just got back from voting and I can’t shake a feeling of anger and frustration. I feel angry that these four jokers are the best we can do. Seriously? This is the best we can do? The mightiest, wealthiest, and arguably most egalitarian nation in the ENTIRE history of the world, and these are our options? I feel like a Scandinavian prince who, in the land of beautiful women, sends official word that I will be holding auditions to pick my princess, and, inexplicably, the only two candidates who show up on the appointed day are my grandma’s best friend and a dude. And the dude isn’t even handsome or pleasant. WTH (“h” for hud)?????
Back to the Future president:
On the one hand I can pick a total rookie who has chosen as his successor the biggest goofball we have seen in public life since Jerry Lewis retired (the latter of who, to his credit, was actually trying to be laughed at). Now this rookie has an obviously high IQ, is possessed of an admirable degree of intellectual honesty (for a politician) and curiosity, has a gift for social inspiration, and is apparently adept at political strategy and organization. Then you have his many liabilities, the captain of which is his HAVING DONE NOTHING OF HIGH-LEVEL SIGNIFICANCE EVER IN HIS LIFE! Nothing. We’re going to elect him because he’s young, charismatic, eloquent, and very originally wants change. And the fact that he’s black doesn’t hurt. He could turn out, like almost all other dem presidents since Truman, to be a more conservative executive in this center-right country than his past experience indicates. Or, he could turn out to be what the Hannity/Coulter bodagets would have us fear; a couple clicks away from a European neosocialist. Honestly, either is absolutely plausible and we just can’t tell because, for the average voter, 1. There is very little Obama history to look to as precedent, and 2. what record and personal history there is has been largely obfuscated or totally ignored by a mainstream media that seems to have decided that suspending their jobs as dispassionate journalists for a time in order to achieve the greater good of getting this demigod elected, is more than justified. Billy C. was right. This is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.
Or we can pick a very obnoxious, immature, emotionally unstable , vindictive, arrogant septuagenarian who has made one of the stupidest, pandering, political, short-sighted VP picks in American history. This man has run a deplorable, shameless, disorganized, “erratic,” and often blatantly dishonest general election campaign. He is known for letting his anger and spite take control at a significant political cost. I don't trust this guy with the nukes key. Don't trust him with the most powerful military in history. Don't trust him to be open minded and smart and calm. He has recently shattered the only two reasons I used to like him (1. acting out his conscience independently, with comparatively little regard for political consequences, and 2. decent, steady judgment) by displaying a disingenuous willingness to do and say anything to get elected, and by picking the aforementioned vapid, uninformed, right-wing-pandering, stuttering, anti-intellectual S.P. as his number 2. If Sarah Palin is the future of the party, I’m moving to
In other words, there is a 100% chance that I will wake up November 5th, learn who won, and be depressed. That sucks. How I long for the good ol’ days of
at 3:33 PM
October 29, 2008
It's official- after a lot of feelings and speculation, we finally know! We're having a GIRL!!! Yay! We are really excited. Interestingly enough, Christian and I both had feelings, independent of each other, that this one was going to be a girl. Thank goodness it was too, because I think I told everyone I knew about it and I would have been really embarrassed if it had been a boy.
at 1:33 PM
October 28, 2008
Alright, so I don't think we're cursed, but we have definitely had a run of bad luck in our outings as of late. This last weekend, I was running with Oliver and noticed a sign at the local elementary school advertising a Fall Festival there on Saturday night. So, that night, we got Ollie all suited up in his frog costume and headed on over. Well, upon closer inspection, the sign read that the festival actually took place on Friday night. Of course, Christian wasn't about to let me slide on that one, so I had to do some quick thinking on what we could do with our little frog man. I remembered that Old Navy was having something and I was sure the mall would host some kid of Halloween something. I couldn't stop laughing our whole walk through the mall- Oliver was the only kid dressed up (Of course- it's a whole week before Halloween!) and we had MANY on-lookers. We got to Old Navy and all they had was a dinky coloring table! So, we wandered around, looking for something to redeem our night with Oliver and finally settled on the mall playground and a carousel ride. I have to admit, though, he did look awfully adorable and so innocent and shameless in his costume.
at 8:26 AM
October 25, 2008
Wow- it's been a while and this is going to be quite the catch-up post. Saturday, two weeks ago, was the last weekend of the famous Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. We had yet to make it down the official lift-off site, so we decided that this was the year to make it happen. We got up at an unreasonable hour, waded through the fiesta traffic, paid for parking and entrance into the park, only to find out 5 minutes later that the lift off had been canceled. So, instead we walked around, snapped a few pics of Gov. Bill Richardson, and then headed home, even resisting the urge to binge on a yummy New Mexican breakfast burrito after all of our troubles. Before we headed out on our second of three outings that day, we had a good ol' New Mexican hail storm. Next stop was the Albuquerque Aquarium. Oliver got as close to the glass as we could push him- he was totally freaked out. But Christian loved sharing all his shark knowledge with the little guy nonetheless. After a little run-in, literally, on the way home,we headed off Wall-E, the movie. What a day!
They just put in this beautiful Japanese garden at the aquarium and Oliver loved the waterfall.
We got Oliver a zoo and aquarium pass for his birthday a few months ago and we really have yet to use it. So, yesterday we made it out to the zoo, one hour before it closed (which, in my opinion, is the perfect time and perfect amount of time).
Ironman, the movie, at our friends', the Alders. Oliver loves, loves, loves Eric and Rachel and follows them around and snuggles with them the whole time we're over there.
at 8:29 AM
October 14, 2008
We want to get on this food storage train but need some help. I know nothing about food storage. I spoke with our ward expert lady and learned a bit, and got the list of foodstuffs we can get at our cannery, but I'm looking for any advice on any aspect of food storage and other emergency stuff one should have.
Fist question: how do I figure out how much food it will take to feed 2 adults and 1 kid for 6 months or a year? The church website had nothing helpful. Does anyone know of any website or calculator for that?
Do you get most your food storage through the cannery, or are there things that are better or cheaper that you get through other places?
Any other advice on what to get or not get?
Aside from food and water, here are the things I can think of offhand that we should have extra of. Tell me what i'm missing:
flashlights, kerosene heater/cooker, fire starting stuff, sanitary stuff, bigger clothes for kids, batteries, crank radio, medical and first aid stuff, 7 or 8 guns, cabin in Montana, camo gear.
Tell me your thoughts, whatever they be.
at 8:02 PM
October 13, 2008
So, after a relaxing week in Sundance, Christian and I joined the Bells for Conference weekend. We met up at Hogle Zoo on Friday, then went out to dinner that night at The Dodo with just the adults- a real treat. The rest of the weekend was filled Conference, Conference, and more Conference. I was actually pretty proud of myself, this being the first year ever I haven't dozed off during one of the sessions. Though, it might have been impossible with all the kiddos running around providing ample amounts of entertaining distraction.
This was the only other slightly redeemable picture from the whole weekend- the rest were all really blurry. This is Oliver with his 2 other cousins his age, Abe and Benny.
at 9:01 AM
October 8, 2008
One of my favorite places in the whole world is at Sundance, UT. My parents spend a week at our cabin up there every fall, and this year they invited Oliver and I to join them. In my opinion, there is no more beautiful time of year than early fall in Utah. The greens, red, oranges, and yellows are so amazing against the blue sky and mountains. I highly recommend a visit to the Provo Canyon anytime during the last 2 weeks of September until the middle of October. And, if you really want an experience, grab lunch at the Sundance cafe- it can't be topped. Anyway, so my Mom was selfless enough to fly out to Albuquerque to help me make the drive to Utah with Oliver. After 10 hours of pure bliss (and I really mean that- Oliver was an angel), we arrived in Provo at my sister Julie's apartment where we spent the night. The next morning, Julie cut and colored my hair (I was her first girl hair cut ever at the Paul Mitchell cosmetology school. Talk about trust...:)) We finally made it up to the cabin, but not before a stop at my fave, Bajio's for a chicken salad. We spent the rest of the week at the cabin, filled with beautiful walks/hikes/talks. It was so relaxing and nice. Christian flew out on Thursday night and we went on a hike to Stewart Falls on Friday morning before heading out to spend the rest of the weekend with the Bells (post to follow).
at 10:45 AM