Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekend of Shows

When I have a connection to anyone even semi-famous, I tend to capitalize on the association to the point of becoming obnoxious. Maybe I should just get all my claims-to-fame out in the open right now: my Grandfather was the mayor of Calgary, Canada, my cousin's husband plays for the Chicago Bears, my uncle sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, my aunt plays in the Orchestra at Temple Square, my family owns a movie theater, and my cousin is a screenwriter in Hollywood. To expand on the last reference, my cousin, Cinco Paul, recently co-wrote the script for "Horton Hears a Who." I figured between my loyalty to my cousin and the need for a good family flick we should go see it. My opinion is biased, but I thought it was well done, Logan loved it, and even Jeff enjoyed himself. We will probably add it to our collection when it comes out on DVD.

On Saturday, we ventured to a different type of show: the local high school musical. I wasn't sure what to expect because my high school did not put on musicals, nor did we have an orchestra or any musical talent, for that matter. But American Fork High School was showing Les Misérables and for $7, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to hear the brilliant songs from our favorite show. Overall, I was impressed by the leads, though they each had their ups and down. The high school theater was small, but it hosted a revolving stage. Not bad. The high school edition of Les Misérables is edited for time and content, but I didn't notice too much missing. I would recommend it to Les Mis lovers as a cheap way to get your Claude-Michel Schönberg fix until the next time a professional group brings it to town.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Uncle Leonard

Late last Saturday night, so late it was actually early Sunday morning, I received a text message from my mom telling me Leonard Morris had passed away. Leonard, affectionately known as Uncle Leonard to most who knew him, was almost like a grandfather to me. I first met him when we moved into his ward at 10-years-old. He had just started an experiment known as "Warm Fuzzies," an experiment that would become a tradition and legacy in our Del Mar Ward. The idea was simply to write kind notes--called warm fuzzies--to other ward members. This is the type of person Uncle Leonard was. He wanted so much for everyone to be happy and his funny, eccentric ways of going about it just made him that much more endearing. He loved music and always asked me to sing for him, even though I knew he could find better things to listen to than my untrained voice. He had a talent for woodworking and gave me a beautiful handmade frame with "Home Rules" in it when I got married. When Logan was born, he and his wife sent Logan a teddy bear. Logan takes that bear with him everywhere now, almost as though he knows the love with which it was given.

I have always thought Easter is one of the most difficult holidays to preserve the sacred message of amidst the completely secular traditions of the Easter Bunny, baskets, and egg hunts, but the poignant timing of Uncle Leonard's departure gave me a chance to reflect on the resurrection and life of our Savior. How grateful I am for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation! How wonderful it is to know that after years of suffering, Uncle Leonard is at peace and able to continue the work he started here on earth. With the recent deaths of so many great men (President Hinckley, President Faust, and now Uncle Leonard) I can only think that this is a wonderful time to be in heaven.


When Logan was a baby, it was not uncommon to find him and Jeff like this:

Or like this:

Now that he's older, he mainly falls asleep in his crib or car seat, but not anywhere else. So I had to laugh yesterday when Jeff and Logan crashed after lunch on their respective couches:

Jeff must have passed on his mid-afternoon-nap-on-a-sofa-in-a-sunny-room gene to Logan. The only problem now is where do I sit?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hello Daddy

Last night Jeff couldn't sleep because I was breathing too loudly. He put his hand on my stomach to help me wake up enough to adjust my breathing pattern. I woke up all right, to the motion of the baby twisting and stretching in response to Jeff's touch. After a minute, Jeff took his hand away and the moving stopped. He may claim he doesn't want daughters, but I think this little girl already has a pretty special bond with her dad.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mr. Chair

In high school, Jeff tried to go to his Republican precinct meeting. With not even standing room available, he wandered down the hallway and found himself in the Democratic meeting instead. Apparently Democrats in Spanish Fork were hard to come by and before he knew it, he had been elected the Democratic Chair for his precinct. Shortly afterward he left on his mission, so, needless to say, he didn't do much work for his position.

Fast forward 8 years. Thanks to a friend who is on the city council, Jeff found out the Republican co-chair position in our precinct would be up for grabs at the next precinct meeting. A few days before the meeting, he learned the person interested in the chair no longer was going to participate. With only a few hours notice, he attended the training meeting that would make him the temporary chair for the precinct and give him the responsibility of running the meeting a few days later.

To make a long story short, Jeff conducted the meeting where he was elected the precinct chair and our neighbor, Jon Mayne, was elected as his co-chair. An extremely organized and politically experienced woman was elected as secretary, and another friend from our ward was elected as the treasurer. Jeff is excited to have this opportunity, as he'll be able to attend both the county and state conventions and help promote the Republican candidates throughout the election. It may be a small step, but it's a start. I'm pretty proud of him for taking the initiative to follow his passions and contribute something meaningful to our community.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Men in My Life

I am one lucky woman to have such handsome boys in my family. Logan is growing into quite the little man. We bought him this Sunday suit a few weeks ago and I can't get over how grown up he looks in it. I think it makes him feel more grown up, too, because he now sings the sacrament hymns (very loud and off-key) and puts his hand on the pew behind my back just like Dad.

Here are the two of them together. Don't they look so angelic? (Don't be deceived.)

Here is our self-timer family picture. We'll be lucky to get another one before our family goes from three to four.

This is to humor my Mom. She feels left out sometimes that she doesn't get to watch me get fat. So here you go, Mom. A fat picture just for you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My First Card

I love my neighborhood. We are such a carefree, young bunch of crazy kids pretending to act like adults. Most of us are young moms with kids under 4. As such, we find every excuse we can to have "girls-night-outs" revolving around themes such as scrapbooking, Bunco, and crafts. After months of avoidance, I finally decided to take a chance and participate in the card exchange group that gets together once a month. The idea is that everyone makes a set of identical cards, then you get together and swap. At the end of the night, you go home with a set of handmade, unique cards to add to your collection.

There was a time I could claim to be crafty, but that time has passed. I was nervous to throw my card into the lot knowing how clever and darling the other cards were sure to be. I could only imagine the council after I left amongst the other card-goers to decide how to politely exclude me from future card parties. But even with the treacherous risks at hand, I stifled my fears and made this (drum roll, please):

Ta Da!

Ok, so a little weak, but not bad for my first try, right? And totally worth it, if you could see the cards I got in return.

Acknowledgments: Many thanks to my supportive husband, for allowing me to join yet another monthly party group, to my parents, for always encouraging me to reach beyond my grasp, and to my neighbor MarKey, without whose advice, ink pads, and helping hands 1 hour before the party I would have surely failed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Our Cruise Substitute

After finding out we weren't going to be able to go on a cruise this spring, I fell into a mini-depression. I had been looking forward to a vacation for so long and now it seemed everything was out of the question. Long distances, high-adventure and theme parks were out due to my pregnancy. Warm weather was a must in my book (I'm certainly not going to escape the cold just to go somewhere else cold!) and we were limited by all sorts of dates.

I had pretty much given up, but Jeff was determined to get us out of town to do SOMETHING so he planned us a weekend getaway to Vegas. It seemed to fit all the requirements: warm, plenty to do, good food, romantic... almost as good as a cruise, right? There was just one problem: I hate Vegas. It is the midway point on the drive from our place to my parents' so I've been there A LOT. Each time I am less impressed by the fancy hotels and more scarred by the blatantly disrespectful and borderline pornographic advertisements. But we were out of options so we decided to give it one last try.

To make up for the scandal we knew we'd encounter in Vegas, we stopped in Manti on the way down and attended an endowment session at the Manti temple. That was a treat. Then we stayed in a quaint bed and breakfast run by an elderly woman. Also a treat. Let me pause for a moment on this woman.

She greeted us in what was probably an authentic 1850's farm dress topped by a lacy apron. She gave us a tour of the house, including the sauna ("just unscrew the light bulb so no one can see in") and the spa mural ("we had it painted to represent the second coming"). She wouldn't let us wear shoes in our room because it had white carpet and felt obligated to explain the bathtub was clean despite the permanent stain on it's side. Everything from the water to the shampoo to the bath salts was natural and organic. She removed the comforter and half the pillows from the bed before she let us loose for fear we would catch a watch or ring on the lace. There was a Book of Mormon on the nightstand, pass along cards on the hallway table, and her wedding picture hanging on the wall in our room. For breakfast she served herb cheese scrambled eggs, 9-grain pumpkin pecan waffles (recipe here), and turkey bacon. The only other couple at the breakfast table were repeat guests and they warned us that when we left the old lady would insist on giving us a hug and whisper words of wisdom (i.e. whatever the spirit prompted her to say) into our ear.

Like I said, a real treat.

Vegas was the antithesis of our Manti experience. We stayed at the Venetian which included a non-stained tub, full-size sectional, and three flat screen TV's. We ate dinner at Ruth's Chris (our favorite steak house) and breakfast at the Bellagio buffet. We saw the Phantom of the Opera which was almost as good as the movie. It was truly a weekend in luxury.

Here's a few funny stories from the Vegas half of our trip:

In Manti we were given a bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider. We didn't have an opportunity to drink it while we were in Manti, so I stuck it in my purse to take to Vegas. We hadn't been on the road more than an hour when the altitude change was too much for the carbonated bottle and the lid popped right off and flew to the back of the car. I was too nervous to leave the bottle uncapped so I put the lid back on only to have it pop off again an hour or so later. This continued most of the way to Vegas.

When we made it to the hotel lobby, the bottle gave it's final pressure pop and sent the cap flying again, this time straight into my arm 3 inches from the neck of the bottle. I have the welt to prove it. Trying to find the lid at this point was hopeless, so I carried the open, partially concealed bottle through the hotel to our room. In the elevator, a lady pointed out to me that my "champagne" was coming out of the bottle. I swiped the fizz off the top with my finger and stuck it in my mouth. I didn't bother to correct her ("Thanks, but it's actually sparkling cider") because, hey, this is Vegas and no one would appreciate my self-righteousness here. Only later did it occur to me that I am obviously pregnant and I let an elevator full of people think I was drinking alcohol right in front of them. That's just wrong no matter who you are. Avoid appearances of evil. Whoops.

Funny story number 2. Our first night in Vegas we had reservations for a restaurant near the hotel. It was a nice restaurant, so I dressed up including high heels to go out. We decided to walk because the weather was nice and it wasn't that far.

Correction: it was far enough that I gave myself three large blisters and could hardly hobble out of the restaurant.

Jeff asked the valet if we could get a cab for the 1/2 mile trip back to the hotel. The valet said, "Sure, I could hail you one. Or this guy is here waiting that could take you for $20."

I almost laughed aloud until I realized he was serious. $20? To take us around the corner? Even more to my amazement, Jeff didn't blink an eye as he said, "Done." Turns out the guy was with a limo service, so we rode in the back of a Lincoln Town Car for 3.5 minutes back to our hotel. It was worth it, though, to save my feet. I am still feeling the effects of that walk 4 days later.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Twilight Critique

After months of listening to everyone rave about the Twilight series, I finally borrowed the books from a neighbor (thanks Elan!) and joined the mainstream. I quickly discovered why everyone is so ecstatic about these books: the plot is captivating, the romance is hopeless, and the male hero is "practically perfect in every way." I spent every free moment reading the three novels and finished them in just under 2 weeks. (I know, that's a little longer than most, but I had to work at some point, too!)

That said, I am not as impressed as I hoped I would be. I'd been told they were up there with Harry Potter, but I'm afraid I can't agree with that. They are very addicting and I am definitely excited for (a) the next book and (b) the movie, yet there are certain points that bug me.

Let's start with the good things:
1. Interesting and unique plot. When I first heard the series was about vampires, I was skeptical, but throw werewolfs into the mix, and it's a disaster waiting to happen. To her credit, the author, Stephenie Meyer, did a good job of making the fantasy believable. She created some interesting conflicts and consistent, though somewhat predictable, resolutions.

2. Excellent recreation of high-school drama. The non-vampire students were so reminiscent of my high-school days I couldn't help but laugh aloud at certain parts. I am excited to see these scenes enacted on film.

Ok, here comes the not-so-good points:
1. Unrealistic romance. I'm just as sappy as the next female, but come on! Who honestly falls in love after 2 days? Once I felt the story had progressed, I didn't mind the unending devotion between the two main characters, but at the onset it had me rolling my eyes.

2. Corny dialogue. Meyer really struggled to convey conversations between characters. I really hope the screenwriter saves this aspect in the film. The worst, by far, was when someone would retell of an experience. Who, when narrating their own story, says, "I gasped in shock at the terrified look on her face" ?

3. Bella's unfaithfulness. This may have some plot spoilers so beware if you want to read the books. Maybe it's because I'm not 18 anymore and don't remember much of dating before married life, but if you are really committed to someone, enough that you are going to marry them and spend the rest of your life with them, you don't harbor intimate friendships with other males! I was frankly annoyed by Bella towards the end of the third novel for how close she let herself get to Jacob. It would be one thing if she was trying to decide between him and Edward and she hadn't really chosen either one yet, but that's not how it was! She claimed to love Edward, she had promised to marry him, yet she was holding Jacob's hand and cuddling with him! Completely inappropriate, if you ask me, and I really don't think she would have done that if she loved Edward as much as Meyers claims.

In sum, I guess I just hoped for a more realistic story. More realistic relationships (I don't care how perfect you are, people have arguments), more realistic dialogue (pet names are hard to pull off ALL the time, Edward), and more realistic characters (Bella, stop freaking out all the time and Edward, your breath is sweet? I wish). Ironically, the most believable part is the part that is entirely fictional (the vampires and werewolfs and such).

Ok, I'm off my soapbox now. Happy reading!

*Sorry, I had to remove comments from this post because I was getting a lot of strangers critiquing my critique and it was starting to creep me out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rash Follow-Up

Three days after the nasty breakout (see previous post) Logan is almost back to normal. I've had him on Benadryl around the clock and about 48 hours later the rash had started to fade. Even though the doctor told me I had nothing to worry about, I've been asking everyone for suggestions because it just looked so awful. Here it is at its worst:

My mom, with her experience raising 6 children, has seen just about everything. She put two and two together and compared this to a time my little sister got a rash following an ear infection. I started looking into it and it turns out it is pretty common for people to get rashes 7-10 days after starting an amoxicillin treatment. It doesn't necessarily mean that Logan is allergic to amoxicillin, but at least now I know it's normal and where it came from.

So my question is: why did the doctor not tell me this?!! I specifically told her he was taking amoxicillin, plus she had his medical history right in front of her. She didn't have to state that's what it was if she wasn't sure, a simple, "It's not uncommon to see..." would have sufficed. I guess I should give her credit for suggesting Benadryl, though I'm sure I would have figured that one out on my own. Mostly I'm just mad about the $15 co-pay.

The morale of the story: if your child gets a hideous rash after taking amoxicillin, save your time and money and just go get them some Benadryl. I would suggest the grape chewables. One tablet for a 2-year-old.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Red Spots Everywhere!

Logan's had a cough the past few days that keeps him up at night. This morning, after yet another long night, I went to get him dressed and ready for day care and found him looking like this:

His entire body was covered in a bright, red rash! These pictures hardly do it justice, especially since the worst part is on his upper arms, thighs, and bum. He is covered head to toe---even his ears are spotted!

I took him to the doctor, but all she could tell me is it isn't any of the easily identifiable rashes and to come back if it hasn't gone away in 4-5 days. Oh, and don't take him to day care. Guess I'll be working from home for the next few days.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Off Board

I guess I jumped the gun on the last post. Less than 24 hours after we made our reservations, we had to cancel them. Who knew they don't let women over 24 weeks pregnant on cruise ships? I guess that's the price we pay for our families. I'm pretty sure they don't let infants under 6 months on cruise ships, either. So the next chance we may have to go on a cruise is, let's see, January 2009? Anyone up for going then?

On Board

A few months ago the cruise bug hit our family when some friends (thanks, Heidi and Greg) announced they were taking a weekend cruise to Mexico. We contemplated joining them, but the timing didn't quite work out so we sat on our hands for a bit.

Then the storms came. One after another. All winter we were bombarded with bitter weather and weekly blizzards. (Blizzard = enough snow to have to shovel the driveway.) As our cabin fever increased, the search for a tropical vacation became more desperate. Ironically, just as the weather starts to hold promises of spring, we finally book ourselves a cruise. Originally we had looked into 3-day cruises, but the longer we put it off, the more elaborate our plans became.

Finally, last night around 10 pm, we booked ourselves a 7-night Mexican cruise with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. It departs April 27 out of San Diego (convenient, considering Grandma and Grandpa Mackay live in San Diego and are willing to let Logan come visit for a week).

The only downside to this vacation is I will be 32 weeks pregnant when we leave. But it we don't do it now, it will only get harder once a new baby is around. Besides, how cute is this maternity suit?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A little about Jeff...

I've realized lately that there is a lot about Logan on our blog, a bit about me, but very little about Jeff. So I thought I'd take a moment to share one of his quirks that I love so much.

Jeff and I watch American Idol together. We've followed the show (thanks to our DVR) for the past three seasons. Also thanks to our DVR, we have the ability to go back and watch our favorite performances again. And again. And again. (Here's the part about Jeff:) Jeff has become obsessed with one particular performance during Hollywood week--Michael Johns' version of Bohemian Rhapsody. (See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO9UN6hfCS4 .) It's not unusual to find him sitting in our bed replaying the 45 second clip over and over again. Even Logan knows the words and sings along ("Mama... oooooh"). Needless to say, it looks like since Mitt fell out of the political race our support will now be directed towards Michael in the Idol race.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Night Terrors

night terror


A state of intense fear and agitation sometimes experienced, especially by children, on awakening from a stage of sleep not associated with dreaming but characterized by extremely vivid hallucinations.

If you think that definition sounds worse than it is, it's not.

Logan has had night terrors on an irregular basis since he was about 10 months old. I know he's having one because his eyes are half shut and he hardly even registers I'm holding him... other than to punch me in the head and kick like crazy. Typically it takes both of us (Jeff and I) to snap him out of a night terror. Exasperatingly, it takes a different trigger each time. Sometimes it's a drink, sometimes it's turning on a movie, other times it's walking outside--even at 3 in the morning. The blood-curdling screaming lasts about a half hour, long enough to wake the neighbors and drive me practically crazy. Each time I am torn between my motherly instinct to protect him from whatever he is so afraid of and my sheer exhaustion and frustration from his relentless cries. I can only imagine how much fun it will be when one of his episodes wakes up the baby.

Sometimes he'll go weeks without an occurrence and I'll convince myself he's grown out of them. But then we'll have a night like last night where he's up three times before 2 am. If there was a way I could take them away, I would. But since I can't, is it so much to ask we don't have more than one a night?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Claim to Fame

For those of you who follow BYU men's basketball, you may have caught a glimpse of the most spirited fan under 2 on TV at the BYU/Utah game last week. I can't seem to get a copy of the clip anywhere, but here's an idea of what you'd have seen.

It was a late game so we were going to leave Logan behind, but he had been talking about basketball all day so we brought him anyway. When we got there, we felt ashamed of our wardrobe since none of us were wearing BYU paraphernalia and this was the biggest game of the year. We bought Logan a cap and Jeff a shirt and made a quick change. Well, between his over-sized cap and stalwart cheers, Logan was a hit with everyone around us... including the cameraman. Apparently he got quite a bit of camera time along with some sort of "they brainwash them young" comment from the announcer. We don't deny it.