Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We're having a GIRL!!!

Grant was very obliging during his ultrasound. He gave us a clear picture of his manhood and a beautiful profile of him sucking his thumb; and he has been working the camera ever since. Click here to see Grant's ultrasound pictures.

"Sadie", on the other hand, was not as obliging. She was rather modest and stubbornly refused to uncross her legs for quite a while. And instead of a beautiful profile picture, she gave us this shot.
In case you can't tell, it's a picture of her face. Good luck making out the eyes, nose, and mouth in the Rorschach.

Here's a picture of Tenille 21 weeks into this pregnancy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

If at first you don't succeed . . .

I have learned more about life, love, and the Gospel from my son in the last year than I did in the twenty-six years that preceded his birth. Today's lesson: PERSISTENCE. Grant spent an hour learning how to stand, take a step, fall gracefully, and do it all again. Before I knew it, he was walking across the room. He is such a great example!
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Offer This as Proof

Some days I really do think that I have the best baby in the world. While this is really more of an example than a rigorous proof, it illustrates a typical bedtime with Grant.
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Seriously, this is how happy Grant is most nights: he lunges into the crib, grabs for Fox, and kicks and giggles as we put the blankets on him (he needs several because it is freezing in Pennsylvania). We turn off the lights and close the door and don't hear from him again until early morning (usually between 5 and 6). If only nap time were this pleasant . . .

Still Enjoying Thanksgiving Leftovers

I let Nathaniel be in charge of the stuffing this year. If I allow Nat to prepare more than one dish, we end up with way too much food. Unfortunately, I did not do a very good job of limiting myself and we still ended up with too much food. We're still enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers thanks to:
14 pounds of turkey
20 cups of the most delicious stuffing ever
6 cups of mashed potatoes
3 pies (my apple pie was amazing)
3 1/2 eaters (Tenille, Nat, Candace, and Grant)

Grant wasn't much help around the kitchen, but Candace did an excellent job keeping him from climbing in the drawers by distracting him with the camera. Here's Grant in what we affectionately call his Charlie Brown Sweater.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another cute video

I recorded this video of Grant while we were visiting family in Utah. He loves having his feet tickled and always asks for more.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

13 months: does this count as walking?

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Nat got Grant to do this on his first try.
Nat: "Hey hon, look what Grant can do!"
Tenille: (rolls eyes) "I've been trying to get him to do that for weeks!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

3 Reasons I'm a Slacker Blogger

3. Nat's little brother Josh returned from a mission in India
Josh had a long layover in New York, which resulted in a quick trip to the city for our family. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of Josh on our trip, but we got some cute pictures of Grant pointing at the dinosaur bones.

2. Tenille's little brother Preston returned from a mission in Brazil
Tenille and Grant flew to Utah to see Preston; Nat got to stay home and go to school. We had lots of fun visiting family and eating Mexican food. Grant changed so much over the week and learned so many new things: crawling down stairs, saying new words, and sliding down ramps.

1. We are going to have another baby in April
Hopefully this explains why I look a little fat in the pictures :). We are very excited to have another sweet spirit join our family. The baby is expected the end of April (Tenille is currently 16 weeks). Many of you are probably wondering if this baby was planned. The answer: it depends. We wanted our first two kids to be close together in age (2 years), but it took four years to get Grant and we weren't sure how long it would take to get another one . . . so the kids will be 18 months apart and we couldn't be happier! And happily, Tenille is almost feeling better.

Friday, October 24, 2008

One Year and Some Change

We are now the proud parents of a one-year-old. Grant has such a happy spirit and is joy to have in our home. To celebrate his birthday, Grant and mom went on a walk to enjoy the fall foliage and play in the (somewhat damp) leaves. We got some great pictures of our camera-loving Grant and the beautiful autumn colors.Grant's current hobbies include making a mess and trying to clean it up, hiding his food and toys in unexpected places (shoes, baskets, under couches, bookshelves), eating, coloring, reading, and babbling.Grant is an expert babbler, but we are still working on saying words. He can find and point to mama, dada, fox, ball, belly button, toes, and bunny when asked, but the only word he actually says is "book".We made Grant a blue caterpillar cake, which is not pictured because both the cake and the picture turned out poorly. I am definitely not a baker. Grant loved playing in the cake, but it took him a minute to figure out that he could actually eat the cake. Here is a video of Grant not eating his cake. I'm not sure that I would actually recommend watching it; it's just four minutes of Grant making a mess. I posted it for the grandparents to enjoy.
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Here's another video of Grant actually eating the cake. Again, it's fairly boring unless you are a parent or grandparent, but Grant makes the cutest face at the end of the video.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

I Looked at the Window and What Did I See . . .

Grant climbing on the sill and smiling at me! Grant loves to play by the window in the front room. His initial window play took the form of licking and blowing bubbles, which later evolved when he discovered that it was the perfect play place for his toys. The window sill worked well for small toys like Baby Fox and Bunny, but it presented a challenge when it came to larger toys like his laptop. There were many frustrated cries until he finally managed to get his laptop on the window sill for optimal toy enjoyment.But the many uses of the window sill do not end with toys. Yesterday, I watched Grant climb onto the window sill and announce his great achievement to the neighbors as only a one-year-old can: in a squeal of delight and satisfaction! He was so proud of himself.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cereal Prizes

I fondly reflect on the good-old-days when boxes of cereal contained exciting prizes such as miniature action figures or glow-in-the-dark whistles. Nothing quite compares to the thrill of finding a prize as you fill your cereal bowl. The free prizes of long ago have now been replaced with "free" mail-in offers, but only if you collect 25 proofs of purchase and send $5.95 for "shipping and handling".

Today I discovered that some boxes of cereal still contain a hidden surprise. I was preparing my usual breakfast of Raisin Bran and milk. There was barely a serving of cereal left in the box, so I had to dump the box into my bowl. The vigorous shaking yielded quite the surprise: a large, harry SPIDER. Needless to say, I did not have Raisin Bran for breakfast this morning.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Photography Requires Patience . . .

. . . which is something I don't have. Grant has taken to towing his toys as he crawls. He reminds me of a mama cat, holding his stuffed bunny or rubber ducky in his mouth as he crawls around the apartment. I really wanted to share a video or a picture of these adorable moments with you. I set up the camera, gave Grant a toy, and waited for Grant to stuff the toy in his mouth so that I could capture the moment. Unfortunately, three days and many hours later, I have been unable to snap a picture at the right moment. These were the best I could do. You will have to use your imagination if you want to see Grant's impersonation of a mama kitty.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Adventures

Nathaniel and I received our first visitor, Candace, this weekend (you may visit her blog for more pictures and a detail description of my Wii boxing skills). As hosts, we planned an educational excursion to Hershey's Chocolate World where we learned about the importance of milk in chocolate making from three singing cow puppets as well as how to see, listen to, smell, and taste (but not eat) different chocolates in the delectable Chocolate Tasting 101 course.











We also explored downtown Harrisburg where we strolled along the banks of the Susquehanna River, visited City Island, ate fried veggies at the fair, and cheered the adult rowing team to victory against the youth team.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moving Supplies

I'm sure that most of you have given up on this blog, but it has not been abandoned. I was simply swamped with moving chores. I have now unpacked most of the boxes and can breath easy in middle-of-no-where Pennsylvania. Just in case any of you are preparing for a cross-country move, I've compiled a list of a few must-have moving supplies.

1. Lots of boxes2. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
3. Super glue for the moving casualties4. Wood glue for the other moving casualties
5. Expert packing friends (you know who you are)
On a somewhat related note, I am running out of bookshelf space. Our three small shelves are basically full of books, but I still have to find a place for all these remaining books. Nat wants to save our money to buy some nice Amish bookshelves (and do who-knows-what with all these books in the meantime). I think I'll go insane if I don't find a place for all these books soon. ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Uinta Camping Highlights

Nathaniel, Grant, and I went camping with my family in the Uinta Mountains this weekend. It was one of the best camping trips ever!

1. Eaten by mosquitoes
Tenille's mosquito bites: 27
Days of itching: 3
Camping memories: eternal

2. Trying out our new baby backpackHours searching for backpack: 12
Number of stores visited: 15
Exploring nature with our son: priceless















3. Hiking Bald Mountain
Elevation: 11,943 (highest peak in the western Uintas)
Round-trip miles: 4
View at the top: breathtaking

4. Spotting Ute Ladies' Tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis)
Number of Ute Ladies' Tresses in the world: ??? but they're a threatened orchid
Number of Ute Ladies' Tresses we spotted: approximately 50
Nat's excitement: unparalleled
(F.Y.I. Nat would love to study the evolution of different orchid species at Penn State.)
5. Finding a nesting Bald Eagle on our hike to Hoover Lake
Number of Bald Eagles: ??? also threatened
Miles to the lake: 2
Times I said I would miss the Utah Mountains: infinitely many

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

9 months and growing

Grant turned nine-months-old yesterday. He is getting so big, I can hardly believe it!

Birth weight: 7 1/2 lbs
Current weight: 19 lbs
% change: 150%

Grant is in the 25th-percentile for his weight. I know, that's not very believable considering his thunder thighs and knee-rolls. Perhaps being in the 10th-percentile for height holds some explanatory power for the thighs and knees.

Birth length: 18 in
Current length: 27 in
% change: 50%

Hmm, interesting comparison.Favorite activities: crawling, standing, babbling, and playing with his bathtub. I know it's weird, but he could sit in his bathtub for hours.

Missing Our Old Apartment

Many of you are aware that we had to move out of our old one-bedroom apartment and into another crummy one-bedroom apartment. Our contract ended May 31, but we were knee-deep in thesis writing and didn't want to leave the area until mid-August. Due to a change in management, it would have cost us an additional $800 to stay in our apartment for two more months. So we put boxed up our stuff, put it in storage, and moved into a friends' apartment while they were gone selling pest control for the summer. We've been living here for a month and a half, and we terribly miss three things about our old apartment.

1. Our Red Couch. I tried to get all of our current living room furniture in this picture. The only piece of furniture that belongs to us is the dark brown piano; every other piece of light tan furniture belongs to our friends. So, I miss the color of my beautiful red couch (it has been featured in other pictures on this blog). Sometimes it's difficult to determine where the floor ends and furniture begins in this place. I also miss having a couch that doesn't require a slip cover.

2. Our Dishwasher. I didn't think that I would mind washing dishes by hand, but I hate it! It's a never-ending task; it seems that there are always dirty dishes in the sink. Oh how I long to have a dishwasher again.

3. Closet space. Number of closets in our old apartment: 7. Number of closets in our new apartment: 1/2. Seriously, there are 1 1/2. There are a stack of boxes in our bedroom because there is no closet space.

Luckily, we will have a three-bedroom apartment in PA. What will we do with all the extra space?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Save the Date

What: Farewell to Utah Party
When: Thursday, August 14, 6pm
Where: Tenille's parent's house (call or email for directions)

If any of you will be in Layton on this date, we would love to have you come!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Word Count Winner

My thesis had 37,109 words! Congratulations Jen A. for your awesome guess. What was your strategy? I'll talk to you about your prize later this week! Thanks to all who participated!

One Fine Week

A few things to :) about this week:

1. I passed my thesis defense with no tears! It actually went very well and I even received a few nice complements from my professors. I am so excited to be done with my master's degree (almost)! If any of you are thinking about pursuing a master's degree, I would recommend the non-thesis route. However, all the hard work was definitely worth it! I love the high I get from working hard and succeeding! It's addicting.

2. I ran my first 5K race within my goal time! I just wanted to finish in under thirty minutes and I made it! According to my watch, it took me 29:51. According to my shoe chip, 29:33. It was awesome and I am ready to run again! Thanks Melissa for all your encouragement and for running with me each week. Here are some pictures (unfortunately Nat didn't get a picture of me crossing the finish line, I guess I was too fast for him)!3. The Fourth of July! Grant loved the parade and the fireworks.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

One-legged Crawl


Grant played with his friend Gabe a couple of times this week. After watching Gabe move about the room, Grant decided that crawling might not be so bad. He refuses to get on his hands and knees . . . but this version of crawling certainly gets him where he needs to go! Good thing I'm almost done with my thesis!
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Friday, June 27, 2008

Word Count

The draft of my thesis that I turned into my committee consisted of 132 pages of text (5 chapters, references, and 2 appendices) plus 21 pages of front matter material (title page, abstract, table of contents, etc.). Can you guess how many words, according to Microsoft Office, were in this draft of my thesis?

All applications must be received via comment on blog by July 3, 2008 at 8 p.m. MST to be considered. The person who correctly guesses the number of words without going over will be declared the winner. All estimation techniques are permitted and encouraged. The prize is dependent on the winner. Possible prizes include: baby quilt, retro-apron, 5-course dinner, organ/piano lessons, etc.

Good luck!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Contest Announcement

I just opened a bottle of Virgil's rootbeer in celebration of a completed thesis rough draft! The preliminary stats include: 5 chapters, 126 pages, 1544 hours, and 431 dirty diapers. I still have lots of editing to do and I need to add bits here and there (a couple of tables and figures), but it looks like I might actually meet the graduation deadlines!

To my dedicated readers who continued to check my blog when it appeared to be abandoned:
I am announcing The Word Count Contest. Here are the details: I'll post the number of pages in my submitted thesis around the 20th of June. You will then have approximately two weeks to post your comments guessing the number of words in my thesis (according to the word count tool in Microsoft Word). On the date of my thesis defense (hopefully around the 2nd of July) I will post the number of words in my thesis along with the subsequent winner of the contest! The grand prize will include a free copy of my thesis! Just kidding. It will probably be some crafty thing that I have been dying to make for the past couple of months.

Grant Eats the Classics---Vlasic Baby Dills

This is Grant's second pickle-eating adventure.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sisters

Candace came home to visit! We also got to talk to my brother Preston, who is serving in Brazil. I use to think that Taylor and I looked the most alike, but now I am not so sure. Which sister do you think I look the most like?
MeChel
CandaceTaylor