September 28, 2009

Book Recommendation

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.

By David A. Kessler, MD

In one word, this book is revolutionary. In my opinion, one of the best books, ever.

September 20, 2009


I don’t know what the deal is. Writing a post has just seemed really laborious to me lately. That, and I’ve been saving my best material for the blog I’m starting with my brothers sometime in the next 5 years. Let’s give it a shot though.

Oliver is as interesting and funny as ever. He makes me laugh everyday. Makes me a bit sad to see him growing and changing, though. I just don’t know how you’re ever going find anything better than a 2 year old. Just won’t happen. Hawaii, Brad Pitt, owning a jetpack. Those are the other coolest things in the world, and none of them come within 10,000 miles of a quirky, bright 2 year old. Every time Oliver develops a very cute and improper pronunciation of a word (recent examples are “medi-vam” for mini-van, “berry” for very, and, “wuff” for with, as in “Daddy, let’s do it wuff me.” i.e. come do it with me.), I mimic the wrong pronunciation to keep him in the dark on the proper pronunciation for as long as possible, which maintains his squeezability level at “very high”. But somehow, even though Reba and I do our best to hold the lad back, he always eventually stumbles upon the right way to say the thing, and his daddy dies a little inside. I have no idea how he does it. Remember your mom worrying about a certain friend of yours who might expose you to words and things such as "wiener", The Doors, and Mortal Combat? It’s the same deal here, except its that he must have some friend or nursery leader who is telling him that the car is called a car and not a “dada.” And that a cool car is called a cool car and not a “dobby dada.” Still, the age-old compensation for this loss of your furry puppy’s shed coat is the new, fascinating one growing in its place. He’s become so effusive and curious and observant and gregarious. There is a little girl whose backyard abuts ours, separated by a block wall. Oliver has never interacted with her, but has heard her the few times I ask her to throw us back an errant Frisbee or Bentley (i.e. Ventley car). This girl, Rebecca, is around 6 years old. One day he was out in the backyard alone and must have heard her out there, so he starts yelling her name. The wall and the lower position of her backyard prevent them from seeing each other. But he’ll yell her name out until she answers. Oliver speaks as well as a regular barely-3 year old, which is to say, semi coherently. Rebecca, the neighbor girl, has a speech impediment, so she’s not much better. So these 2 monkeys just bark questions and demands (“I can’t see you! I can’t see you in the front” Or, when she had a friend there “Hey ladies! Hey ladies, where are you!”) back and forth blindly with very little getting done or understood. Oliver runs to different parts of our tiny, flat yard to find the magical spot where he can see her, yelling "I can't see you" all the while. Most the conversation consists of "WHAT?" But Oliver loves it and sometimes drags his stool out to the wall, and pulls himself up for the 5 seconds his little biceps can manage, and these short glimpses of nasally Rebecca make all the yelling very worthwhile. After a few of these sessions, Rebecca figured out that if she climbs to the top of her swing set and if Oliver stands in the right place, they can catch visual pieces of each other through the trees. Triumph. He’s also more energetic lately. This energy is sometimes fun, and sometimes obnoxious. Rebecca and I get a mirror on our unfiltered responses to this energy when we hear him say things like “You’re driving me CRAZY!” His least pleasant habit is the way he talks to the baby. It’s not so much talking as it is a very loud, repetitive, low “EEEEEEEEE” sound. Close your eyes and imagine a large female baboon in heat screaming this noise 3 inches from your face and you’ll get a pretty accurate idea. Another interesting thing, sometimes funny, sometimes not, is his reaction to the—luckily few—times Amelia is upset and crying. It doesn’t upset him at all. He either doesn’t notice it one tiny bit, which is awesome, or he treats it as a game of behavioral leapfrog. He’ll look at the screaming infant, smile at the challenge, and think that she has initiated the game called “Anarchy and Chaos” and that she’s challenging him to beat her. For example, she was howling in bed the other night. This was an hour and a half after they both went to bed, so Oliver should have been asleep, and probably was before she started up. As I listened to her wail, I could swear I heard a loud roaring sound. Like a person imitating a lion. But Oliver has never roared without my initiating it, so I didn’t know what to think. I heard it again and again. I go in there and Oliver is smiling wide, just roaring his little heart out. If the circus is in town, you might as well join up until it leaves.

Amelia is such a sweet little tub-a-love. I don’t know how else to say it. She’s such a chunky little tub, and she’s such a sweet little love. She is the best-natured, happiest, calmest baby. So happy. Just happy to be there. Happy to be eating and watching other people eat, assuming that they are gaining the same high satisfaction out of their eating that she gets from hers. If you’re eating some yummy chocolate or milk somewhere, that thought makes her smile. And it’s good she’s robust, because Oliver gets a bit aggressive with her. But she handles it like a champ. She gets so happy and excited when you put her down for a nap. Then when you get her up from her nap. Then when she sees mama coming toward her and she knows it’s time for second breakfast. There’s nothing more gratifying to me than getting her to smile or laugh, or watching her grab something and shovel it to her mouth with a Venus fly trap's focus. And it’s a wonder for us to watch her physically develop on her own, with no help. Oliver’s torticollus (one tight neck tendon) threw his entire balance off for a while and slowed his motor skill development. So we just got used to having to work with a baby and frowning a bit every time Reba got her email update on what your X month old should be doing. Shut UP babycenter! Take your preachy milestones somewhere else, you smug *$#%(^@#! But Amelia just gets it done. She could be raised by a pack of wolves or Greenlanders and she would still get it done. She’s such a serene little girl. A few years back, someone in heaven gave a big fat “No Confidence” vote on Reba’s and my abilities to raise regular babies. “Okay Boaz, who are we sending to Christian and Rebecca? How about little Clifford and Elvyra over there?” Pause. “What! Are you crazy, man? This is Christian and Rebeca BELL! Read their file, bro! Not a chance. That's what we call the blind leading the blind. Why don’t you go grab a couple of those cloud-raking angelbots we made last week and send them down as babies. Have them cry every few months to keep things believable.”

Sometimes when I’m out in the world and a little baby is crying I have to stop myself from yelling “What sort of a ratrace do you think we're running around here, anyway? What is wrong with that kid!” Oh, yeah. Right. Babies...cry.

I have a bad feeling about number 3… Could be the great equalizer.

Stalking the "ladies"

Riding the train from Abq to Santa Fe

September 16, 2009

Bad fit

I've always maintained that we shouldn't force devil worshipers to attend early morning seminary. Finally, I'm proven right.

p.s. you have to watch the video

September 10, 2009

Twiddling Our Thumbs Part Uno

That's what we've been up to anyway- twiddling our thumbs. Yeah, right. Things have gone from about 30 to 90 here in the month of August and is it September already???!!! Between my new calling in to Young Women in church, the final weeks of training for the St. George marathon, and starting up a new part-time gig here at home, the days have been racing by with not a lot of time for blogging. Oh, and I've been lazy. No, make that L-A-Z-Y. So, without further ado, here comes August...

We got a new (much-needed) couch. Now, we can officially entertain without too much seating awkwardness and guest discomfort.

Our little "tub-a-love" as Oliver calls her. She has been spending a lot more time in her bumbo as she has started on solid foods (my least-favorite baby stage).

We attended the Salsa Festival in Old Town Albuquerque a few weeks ago with our friends, the Larsons. We tried about 25 different kids of salsas, some of which made me wonder if I would ever has use of my tongue again. There were some AMAZING salsas, though. So, so fun.

There was even an amateur magic show during the Salsa Festival. No, this guy was not begging for money. Oliver was giving it gladly.

Playing in the fountains in Old Town with Noah and Haley.

We celebrated my friend, Rachel's birthday a few weeks ago (or was it months??). Came complete with roast dinner and funfetti cake and ice cream. Christian and Jake even decided to top it off the an encore performance of "Solja Boy" (see last post).

This is Oliver and his friend Berlynn at Rachel's b-day. Could that pair be any cuter? We're hoping the stars align on this one...

September 6, 2009

See This Little Ditty...And Dance

Performed by none other that Christian (a.k.a. "Sharkman"), Kristen (a.k.a., "The Rat"), and Jacob (a.k.a., "Jake the Rake"). Please send all inquiries and/or requests to