By the way...

I redesigned my blog today, so if you're reading this in a reader, come over and take a peek! I never really liked the last design but never had time to change it. Now I've switched to a design that I can keep indefinitely and won't get outdated. I also wrote a fancy About page if you want to read that!

Gulliver Loves...

Gulliver is growing up so fast that it's hard to keep up with the things he's interested in on this blog! But here are some things to keep you up to date:

Gulliver Loves...

Ghostie. It is a little nightlight from IKEA that charges during the day and that Gulliver can take in the crib with him at night. He pronounces it GOH-tie. When you tell him it's time for bed, he usually runs and hides, but when you catch him, he asks for Ghostie. Sometimes he talks about Ghostie during the day.

Peanut butter. When you open up the pantry, he comes running over, asking for "burr! burr!" (butter). This may or may not be because Murray feeds him peanut butter on a spoon. And I may or may not have also succumbed to this habit.

Songs. Gulliver loves it when we sing him songs, and he's starting to sing more and more with us. I've been singing the song, "It's in every one of us" almost every night for the past year at least, and he can now do almost all the words with me. Of course, "One of us" is "Wuh wuh wuss." He also loves Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, and if he's around toys or dolls that are close to his size, he's been known to sing the song to them and demonstrate on them.

When I put Gulliver to bed, I sing him a song. As soon as I'm done, he whispers "Song." And then I sing another. I absolutely cannot resist him asking for more songs.

Birds. He takes after his mother! And I'm going to be a really good mother and teach him what every bird is. So when he points and says "Bird!" I say, "Yes! That bird is a killdeer!"

Angry Birds. Gulliver finally has learned how to play Angry Birds. He's been intrigued by it for a while, but he could never quite figure out how to sent the birds the right way. Now he does, and he's better than his dad.

Goodnight, Moon. This is his favorite book. We read it to him every night. He is now to the point that he is starting to recite it along with us. (Half the words are good, and half the words are only intelligible because you know what he's trying to say.)

"Baby." When it's time to cuddle, I pick Gulliver up and I rock him back and forth and say, "Baaaaaaa-by. Baaaaaaaaa-by. Baaaaaaaaaa-by." He loves this, and even says "baby" along with me. Sometimes, he'll reach up for me and ask, "baaaaa-by, baaaaa-by," letting me know what he wants me to do.

Snow. He says, "Nowss" which is really funny.

Hiding. Gulliver loves to hide when you announce any of the following: diaper change, bed time, nap time, getting dressed, getting in the car (particularly when he wants to walk to the park instead).

Colors! Gulliver is great at his primary and secondary colors! Although sometimes he will get them a little mixed up.

Well, that's what I can think of right now! More to come, I'm sure. He's just growing up so fast!!

I Turned 30!

Remember that time I made 30 goals to accomplish before turning 30? And I made all the goals the day before my birthday? And then I left you hanging? So I have accomplished most of those goals, but definitely not all before turning 30.

Still to do:
-Put all adorable baby clothes for baby girl in one place.
-Make 2 real goals for the new year (they're in my head, but I need to write them down... Which will happen when I do my yearly goal accounting)

That's it! So I accomplished 28 goals. Because I still FEEL 28, folks! I'm young at heart.

Since turning 30, I have been pretty busy! In a good way! I actually took an entire week off of work, which was blissful. Murray, Gulliver and I went to Disneyland! And I have to say that we continually worry about how well Gulliver will travel, because each time he is a little older than the last. Well, once again, he was a PERFECT traveller! We couldn't believe it! Between playing with toys, napping, and playing with his own feet for four hours at a time (not even an exaggeration) he made it through the whole trip with very very minimal complaining. Also, it helps that we his parents take after MacGyver just a little. We put a few movies on my iPad for Gulliver and using my iPad's own cover and two boy scout belts, we rigged the iPad to the back of my head rest and let Gulliver watch a few movies. He watched movies all the way from Primm to California on the way there, and then only watched one movie on our way back to Utah. He could have watched more, but during that four-hour block of time when he was playing with his feet (sucking on his own socks to be honest), we were waiting for him to fall asleep for his nap.

When we booked the spur of the moment trip to Disneyland, we saw there would be rain. I took that to be a good thing because it would mean fewer crowds and it probably just meant a very light drizzle. Boy, was I wrong! (And did I mention the Disneyland tickets and hotel were both non-refundable?)

The first day started with that light drizzle I was expecting, which quickly turned into actual rain. We pulled out the ponchos we bought at walmart (and laughed at the suckers who had to buy $40 ponchos in the park) and then fairly miserably waited in lines in the rain. Murray was the first to cry Uncle, if you can believe that, considering his love of Disneyland.

We went back to the hotel, soaked through, and Gulliver was so done in that he asked, "Nap?" and ran over to his crib. Poor, poor boy!

Normally I would have live-blogged from Disneyland, but you couldn't actually take your phone out if you didn't want it to get soaked.

The second day in the park was much better, possibly due to lower expectations, possibly due to better preparation, and possibly due to heavier rain in the morning, which cut down on lines. We actually walked onto most rides. Back at the hotel mid-day the boys napped while I took every stitch of clothing we had to the laundry facility and threw it all in the dryer. Having dry, warm clothes was an experience that couldn't be described as less than euphoric. And in fact, by the time nap time was over, it had mostly stopped raining. So we went back to the park one final time and enjoyed the evening at Disneyland with short lines and that light drizzle I'd been hoping for all along.

I'll do a separate post maybe tonight where I share some photos and talk about highlights. Like Gulliver meeting Mickey Mouse, which was pure awesomeness.

Since being back, we enjoyed a very merry Christmas. I even got my Christmas cards in the mail. On Christmas eve. Bah! It wasn't my fault, though, as they were due to arrive Dec 17, and instead arrived Dec 23.

Oh, and the other major news you may have missed (this whole time I haven't been blogging, I've been active on Facebook... Consider me converted) is that I passed my gestational diabetes test today, WELL within the normal range!! This comes as good news and bad news. The good news is, no finger pricking, no diet restriction, no pee sticks, and no added medical expenses that we would have to pay! The bad news? A week after having Gulliver, I weighed less than I did when I got pregnant. I now can no longer expect such a pregnancy miracle.

Well that brings you a little bit up to speed. I'll recap Disneyland soon! Although I'm toying with the idea of just hopping on my computer and redesigning my blog quickly because I'm sooooooo tired of it and never liked this design much in the first place but haven't had time to fix it. We will see!

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

30 Before 30

Well everyone, today marks a very sad day in my life. I have finally caved and joined Facebook. I have extremely mixed feelings about this new stage in my life. I kind of liked being totally off the Facebook radar.

Anyway, one of my favorite bloggers, Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely turned 30 this year. She had a list of 30 goals she wanted to accomplish before she turned 30. I thought that was a really great idea. My thirtieth is on Wednesday. I have been really really busy, but it's never too late, right? Here is a list of 30 goals to reach before I turn 30:

1. Join Facebook--DONE!
2. Gain an ounce (for the baby!)
3. Put Gulliver's toys away.
4. Clean the kitchen.
5. Clear the junk on the dining room table.
6. Put all adorable baby clothes for our baby girl in one place.
7. Put away the Mr. Potato Head parts in the guest room.
8. Make the final changes to El Senor's wedding invitations.
9. Feed Gulliver some vegetables.
10. Get two nights of sleep (technically not possible since I was born just after midnight Eastern time, which is actually Dec 14 Mountain time...)
11. Throw away all junk in our Civic.
12. Get oil changed in the Civic.
13. Watch a Pixar short with Gulliver.
14. Actually figure out what I want to do for my birthday evening with Murray.
15. Vacuum main floor.
16. Pack and send gifts to clients.
17. Sleep in. Twice. (Morning of birthday counts.)
18. Eat a decent breakfast.
19. Give Gulliver a bath.
20. Send Gulliver's portrait to my parents.
21. Make 2 real goals for the new year.
22. Throw away spoiled food in fridge.
23. Make a proper dinner.
24. Share at least one photo or video to Facebook.
25. Call my grandpa.
26. Chat with my mom. (Tuesday is chat day!)
27. Shower and get properly ready.
28. Fold laundry.
29. Make the bed.
30. Have fun with Gulliver and Murray.

Okay, wow, 30 is a LOT. Wow. Maybe I won't be so successful in accomplishing all my wonderful goals. But if I do accomplish these goals, I know I will be a better human being. Also, note to self, I may spend the last day of my 20s frantically crossing a lot of really banal chores off of a list.

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

Where's Gulliver?

Can you find the toddler in this picture?

This is where Gulliver decided to hide instead of getting in the car with Murray today. Ohhhhh, Gulliver. He loves to play games!

Bad Worm, Bad Dad!

Last night, Murray and I took Gulliver over to the pool for some swimming. We haven't taken him swimming since this summer, and when we walked into the pool area, his face was just like [what I hope] Christmas morning [will be]. Of course as soon as we got there and he saw the other family playing, I realized our error in totally forgetting to bring any sort of toy over. Like a ball.

Previous to last night, Gulliver was fearless when it came to swimming. What he loves most is getting out of the pool and jumping back in, into your arms. And just to mix things up a little and make them more interesting, he was always really good at running around the edge of the pool, faster than you could swim, keeping you guessing about exactly where and when he was going to jump into the pool.

Well, last night, Gulliver for some reason was being a little more cautious. He would go to Murray and then very cautiously jump into the pool. Then when it was my turn, he'd come to me, grab my hands, sit down on the side of the pool, and very carefully slide in. What happened to my jumping baby (who this summer jumped right onto my head when I looked somewhere else for 1 second)?

Of course, this gave rise to no end of gloating on Murray's part. Almost each time we tested, Gulliver would jump into Murray's arms, but for me, almost every time, he'd sit down on the side of the pool and then slip cautiously in. Murray read into it in all sorts of ways. He's the protector. He's the physical one. He is the man. He also wanted to make sure I blogged about this (am I doing a good job, honey?).

At one point, it was time to bust out another trick from this summer. This summer, when Gulliver was outside the pool and I was inside, I liked to go over to the filter vents, stick my arm in, and stick my finger up and out of one of the holes in the cover at the side of the pool. This made a little worm that Gulliver LOVED. He would laugh and laugh and try to catch it, and try to stomp on it (once or twice successfully---ouch!). Great, wonderful fun!!

Last night, I stuck my finger through the vent, and the look on Gulliver's face immediately told me that he was maybe a little bit afraid of that worm. Because I'm the tender love-giver, the sweet and sensitive mother, the nurturer, then I didn't push this game on him and gave up on the worm idea.

A little later, Murray tried the worm game. Again, Gulliver's face showed he was a little afraid. Instead of running over and playing with the worm, Gulliver immediately tried to get back into the pool as quickly as possible. Murray told me to get Gulliver out of the water again and try to get him to play with the worm. So together, Gulliver and I got out of the water and went over to the worm. He was terrified. He stop, dropped, and almost rolled right into the water. Then, he clung to me tightly. Scary, scary worm!!

Well, what do you know, for the rest of the evening, he wouldn't let Murray hold him. He certainly wouldn't jump to Murray. In fact, Gulliver was no longer interested in getting out of the pool at all (the worms might pop up if he is out there!!).

And so he clung to me. ME. His mother. His nurturer. His best friend in the whole wide world.

Murray is married to a foreigner.

Most of the time, I think that Murray forgets that he married someone from another country. And considering I've lived here for over a decade and all of my adult life, it usually really doesn't even feel like I'm from another country. But then, the other day, this conversation happened:

Me: I'm feeling tough.

Murray: How so?

Me: Well, I got about five hours of sleep, and then I think I allowed myself to get too hungry before I finally ate something, so my stomach has been in a knot ever since. 

Murray: That's not feeling tough. You're not feeling well. Feeling tough means... feeling TOUGH. Rrrr! I'm tough!

Me: [Thinking...] Is this a Canadian thing? You really have never heard anyone say, "I'm feeling tough?" It means you're not feeling well.

Murray: What?? That doesn't make any sense! Tough means TOUGH! We do NOT say that in the States. How am I only finding out about this NOW?

Anyway, sure enough, it's a Canadian thing. The funny thing is, I'm sure that this is probably the first time in 3+ years of marriage that I have ever even said, "I'm feeling tough" to anyone. It's not something I say all of the time, but clearly it's in my brain and will surface occasionally! 

A Giveaway!

Oooooooooo! There is an awesome giveaway over at Petit Elefant!

That person giving away those portraits is so generous, talented, and handsome!!

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

Gulliver's First Professional Haircut

We have been very busy lately! Thanksgiving was wonderful and the food we ate left absolutely nothing to be desired (except that I dropped the ball by forgetting to bring Disgusting Turkey, but I'll redeem myself for Christmas... and it looks like I may have to blog about Disgusting Turkey in the meantime, because I figured I'd link to the post where I've explained it before, and it looks like I never have on my blog!!).

Friday, The Boy, Murray, Gulliver and I drove down to St. George to attend my Grandpa's funeral (on my mom's side). When a loved one passes away at an expected time, then funerals can be quite enjoyable, and this was no exception! I had a wonderful time with my siblings, my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, Gulliver, and Murray. I plan on writing a little more about that later!

BUT after spending the weekend with my family, there were enough comments about Gulliver's mullet or Gulliver's long hair that I figured something needed to be done. When we got in last night, we threw Gulliver in the bath and when he was out, sat him down for a hair cut, in which I cut off his mullet (which wasn't actually a mullet---it just hung over his jacket whenever he was wearing a jacket) and was afraid to do anything else. Murray criticized my work because it was so blunt, and the hair needed blending. So he got out his trimmers and we both tried to figure out how to cut the hair of a squirmy, wet, naked 2 year old. The result was not pretty. Eventually, I called it quits, once Murray had shaved an almost-bald spot on the left side of Gulliver's head. I told Murray that we'd be taking Gulliver to a professional in the morning. Murray insisted that he be given the chance to at least try to clean it up a little, but I figured that we may as well leave as much as possible there for the professional to work with. Murray and I were NOT professionals!!

So here is a video of Gulliver's first professional hair cut. I have an "after" picture (he went in looking like a baby and came out looking like a little boy!) but it was hard to get him to sit still, so it's not the greatest. But you'll see more of it in the next few weeks, I'm sure!!

Help! Weird Baby Names!!

Hello Internets! I need your help again! I am throwing a baby shower tomorrow and I need as many weird baby names as I can get. You know. We all make fun of them. My aunt knows a little girl named Super Star Eight Jemima. No joke.

By tomorrow, I need at least 20 good weird names. By 4:00 MST. Please fill out my form and don't leave them in comments! I can share them after the shower, but before the game, let's keep them a secret!!


Mole Tattoo

A conversation between me and Murray, as I administered a shot in his arse:

Me: I wish we could just get a tattoo right in the best spot for me to stick this so that I always get it right.

Murray: It could be a mole tattoo. Seriously how much do you think that would cost? Ten bucks?

Me: I have no idea how much tattoos cost. I can't imagine a mole would cost that much.

Murray: It really wouldn't be that hard. Just a brown spot.

Me: It could be irregular and that would be fine.

Murray: Yeah that wouldn't cost much at all.

Me: But can you imagine your accounting to God in the hereafter at judgment day? I mean, it's just a mole!

Murray: "I said no tattoos."

Me: "But it's just a mole! I mean, look all the ones that You did! And I just added one more!"

Murray: "I said no tattoos."

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

A Triumph of Motherhood

(Note: This is a long post all about looking for and finding toys, and may not actually be worth reading unless you are familiar with the Bible and understand that when a woman finds her missing piece of silver, she's gotta share the news with all the neighbors.)

Tonight I am celebrating a true triumph of motherhood. A week ago, I had a minor medical procedure done, which, sparing you all the important and very personal details, hindered my mobility somewhat. While I could get around, I was never truly comfortable, and the basic day to day efforts of simply existing were enough for me to handle without having to worry about performing my evening duty of picking up Gulliver's toys.

(A few weeks ago Murray and I had a major clean-up and promised each other that to maintain our clean house, we would each do two things: Murray would do the dishes and clean the kitchen every night and put away his clothes properly, and I would clean Gulliver's toys every night and put my clothes away properly.)

So it's been a full week since I have picked up Gulliver's toys myself and done a thorough sorting and putting away. And in fact, it's been more than a week that certain toy pieces have been missing, but I didn't have the energy to search for them.

Tonight I spent about an hour and a half fully dedicated to nothing other than sorting, putting away, and finding Gulliver's toys.

The first to be assembled properly was the stacking/nesting cups. No big deal since those are a favorite of Gulliver's and since i find a strange pleasure in collecting them and nesting them myself.

The next was 7 out of 8 stacking rings. This is one of my major major hunts just about every day. In fact, we bought a whole new set of stacking rings because one ring from the old set was lost, and I'm convinced thrown out accidentally in the garbage and therefore irretrievable, and the thought of having an incomplete set of rings forever completely justified the $6 purchase of a new set. (The old set is in a cupboard and is to be used as an "organ donor" for the current set when needed. What do you know, the missing ring is the exact ring that is missing from the original set.) I decided to continue gathering and hope that the 8th ring showed up.

And I also noticed the missing peg from the peg and hammer set. Are you kidding me? I've been working so hard at keeping that intact! Where are you, missing peg??

And then there is the stupid color spectrum puzzle that I never should have bought because the colors are wildly inaccurate, and as artists, our heads might explode if Gulliver ever calls "chartreuse" what THEY call chartreuse. Nevertheless, an incomplete puzzle is an incomplete puzzle. And it has been incomplete for a while now. Stupid missing inner tiny piece. Damn you, lilac!!

But then I actually FOUND lilac, which was amazing, and I went to assemble the puzzle and finally reunite all the pieces... only to discover that ochre was missing.

One of the most baffling missing toys was a larger dinosaur. I mean, missing puzzle pieces, rings, and pegs are one thing, but a whole 8-inch dinosaur? I'm not going to find that under a couch cushion!

And finally the monkey. Oh, the monkey! I love Gulliver's monkey finger puppets so much. They are at the top of the hierarchy of toys for me. So important, in fact, that I don't really let him play with them, unless he is closely supervised. I store them on display in the living room, on top of some framed pictures they are art to me. Recently, Gulliver was crying because I had to go to work, so I lingered a little while, holding him, and he saw this as an opportunity to point out the monkeys to me. I got him the monkeys, and was able to leave just fine after that, because the sorrow of my leaving was replaced with monkey finger puppet joy.

Tonight, upon my initial cleaning, I only found 3 out of four monkeys.

So. Without going into every detail, because this recounting of toy hunting and sorting is already too long and too mundane, here is a reminder of my missing items:

1 ring
1 puzzle piece
1 plastic peg
1 dinosaur
1 blasted monkey

And all of this was STILL missing about 45 minutes into the process, after I figured I'd already inspected every nook and cranny, and certainly all the usual hiding spots.

So the next 45 minutes consisted of some more intense exercise (in addition to my walk today! Today is also a triumph in pregnancy!!). I moved both couches, neither of which produced any results. I moved every single cushion/pillow in the living area (there are plenty) and I found the missing stacking ring! Yay!

I downloaded a flashlight app for my iPhone, looked in behind the electronics attached to the television and found the ochre puzzle piece! Yay!

I emptied out the blocks bag, the Duplo bag, and every single toy bin (and put it all back together again) and found the peg. Yay!

I puzzled long and hard about the dinosaur, which I expected to find under the couch, and wondered where such a large toy could be hiding. I realized the only place other than behind the couch was in the pile of stuff I've had to deal with for weeks (eek!) at the bottom of the stairs. I looked through it and found the dinosaur! Yay! (I promise I'll deal with it tomorrow.)

Then the monkey. Ohhhhhhhh the monkey. Where else could I look? I had already moved couches, gone through my pile of mess, gone through every toy bin and bag, checked under every single cushion, checked all of the usual spots to no avail! The only place left was the shoe bench, which needed attention anyway because there are still flip flops in it. I went through every. Single. Pair. Of shoes. And in the VERY last shoe..... I found the monkey!! And I literally called out, "Monkey!" and leapt right up from my sitting position (no small feat for being pregnant!) and reunited the monkey with his monkey friends on the picture frames.

Tonight, friends, is a true triumph of motherhood. (The house needs vacuuming, and I left all of the shoes in disarray so that i could immediately record this moment of joy.)

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

Spam Email?

So in the last few days, I've gotten spam emails from friends' hacked email accounts several times a day. Today I think I got 5 or 6. Yesterday it was about 3. I wake up every morning to spam emails from my friends, and then later in the day, I receive the mass email that they send out to everyone apologizing that their account was hacked and to delete the email they sent earlier.

Is everyone else receiving these too? What is going on? I can't find anything about it online.


Gulliver loves butterflies. He says "Fa-fly!"

Moths must be a November thing because they seem to be all over the place right now. And they wait by our door and fly into our house when we go home. And every time Gulliver sees them, he points and says, "Fa-fly!"

So last night we were sitting around and Murray spotted a moth on our ceiling. He grabbed the fly swatter, went over to the moth, and THWAP! killed it.

Gulliver saw the whole thing and upon the deathly blow he said, "Ohhhhh!"

To which I replied, "Ohhhhhh! THAT's what we do to B-U-T-T-E-R-F-L-I-E-S!"

We're at least TRYING to preserve his innocence.

Christmas Cards!

I think that when you get married, you're supposed to send Christmas cards every year. Some very ambitious single people do this, too, but I certainly never did when I was single. I haven't, either, for the past two married Christmases. But I'm not going to repeat that mistake on this, my third married Christmas!

(It also doesn't hurt that a major major project this year was creating probably about 50 different Christmas card designs for a client.)

If you would like to receive a Christmas card from me this year, fill out this form! Even if you think that I know your address by heart (unless you're my parents or Auntie B, I do not know your address by heart), please add your address so that I have all addresses in one central location!! (And please don't hesitate to add your address, even if you don't feel worthy of a stamp. Trust me. You're worthy of a stamp. And because I'm a designer, I can do the whole thing on the cheap, so the envelopes and cards won't cost that much, either.)

Please note that if I don't recognize who you are, I may not send you a Christmas card :(  OR, I may do an anonymous Christmas card. Hahahaha. It's a possibility.

Lip Trauma 2010

Some of you may remember Lip Trauma 2009 when Gulliver was crawling under our kitchen table, slipped, and bit into his upper lip. It was traumatic, but we all survived.

Well, now I bring you the sequel, Lip Trauma 2010, which is MUCH more traumatic.

Two nights ago, Gulliver was in the bath. Murray and I were both home. I drained the bath all the way and then I went into Gulliver's room to fetch his towel while Murray stepped into our bedroom for a moment. What could possibly go wrong? I heard a thump and then a scream and knew that Gulliver had hurt himself more than normal.

I went into the bathroom and saw that there was some blood on his finger. "Oh no," I thought. He slipped and bit into his finger and now there's a long little cut on his finger!"

Then I realized it wasn't his finger at all. Gulliver had actually bitten THROUGH his bottom lip, in a horizontal line, about an inch long. He was bleeding on the outside and on the inside.

At the moment of this realization, I became a little bit upset. Some (Murray) might say hysterical. As Murray was holding our naked bleeding baby boy, I kept repeating, "He bit through his lip! He bit all the way through his lip! Oh no! Oh no!" We managed to get a diaper on him and two sleeves of his pajamas and then set out to find medical assistance. As any hysterical mother would do, instead of buckling my distressed baby boy into his car seat properly, I just held him in my lap to drive to the Instacare a few blocks away. (Although I was hysterical, it did cross my mind that things would be a lot WORSE if we got into an accident and he was killed just because I didn't want to put him in his car seat.)

The moment we started driving, Gulliver stopped crying. I couldn't believe it. My baby with a gaping hole through his lip stopped crying. The thrill of sitting on Mom's lap in the front seat of the car was much better than any physical pain he might be feeling. I didn't stop crying, however. I cried most of the way to the Instacare. Which was closed. So at THAT point, then yes, I strapped my baby boy into his car seat, and miraculously, he still wasn't crying. I stayed in the back seat with him, and let him play with Murray's iPhone and he played happily---really, actually happily---for the whole ride to the hospital, 15 minutes away. I, then, also managed to stop crying for most of the ride to the hospital.

At the hospital, we got all checked in. Calmly. Because still, Gulliver wasn't crying. When we were in triage, they asked if any of his teeth were broken, which kindof made me want to start crying again because it didn't even occur to me that in addition to biting through his lip, he may have broken his teeth. But his teeth all were okay, although the gums around the front teeth were also bleeding and bruised. Poor, poor Gulliver!

We were taken to a bed in the emergency area, and funny enough, Gulliver seemed to really be excited about his bed! He lay on his back with his head on the pillow, got comfy, and continued to happily play with Murray's iPhone. Any time he was poked or prodded, he took it all with a good attitude.

The doctor came and we discussed stitches vs. glue. He said he'd do glue if it were his child. And after we considered it all for a little bit, we decided that we would go with the doctor's recommendation. Only then he looked again and changed his mind. He said that on second thought, it was worse than what he had first noticed, and that he would recommend stitches.

So THAT was when Gulliver started crying. And I started crying again, too. A nurse put his arms in a pillow case and put the pillow case behind his back so that the case held his arms to the sides. Another nurse held Gulliver's head while Murray held his legs. I didn't have to do any restraining and just was able to touch him and be there for him. He was shot up with the numbing needle a few times, and screamed and cried then. And then of course he cried during the whole stitching process. During this time, he called out many many things, among which were, "Mamma! Dadda! Cracker [Milk]! No way! No! Hug [he says that whenever he wants to be picked up] Baby!" To which the doctor replied, "Baby?" Yeah, that one was a surprise, to me, too.

All in all, it was an emotionally harrowing experience. When he was all done, they gave him some apple juice, which stopped the crying.

Back in the car, Gulliver DID cry this time when I put him in the car seat, and although I was still back there with him, this time he cried all the way home, repeatedly asking, "Hug! Hug! Hug!" So sad.

Once we got home and I was able to take him out of the car, he stopped crying again and since it was much later than he is ever usually out, there were lots more stars in the sky than he has ever seen. Gulliver LOVES stars. So I took him out to where he could see the most stars and he said, "Wow!" I asked him he if could count them, and he started pointing and counting, "One, Two, Three," pointing to a new star each time. It was pretty adorable and a good way to end the traumatic evening.

The next day, you would hardly even know that anything had happened. Because the stitches are almost right in the crease of his chin, they're kindof hidden so you don't even see the stitches right away when you look at him. And the wound, to look at it now, is hardly anything you would think could cause so much drama. In fact, I asked him where his owie was and he thought about it a little bit and then pointed to his wrist. Nope. So if he doesn't even know where his own owie is, then I shouldn't have to worry too much.

(Although I still get sick to my stomach when I relive the moment of hearing him scream and seeing the wound for the first time.)

Our Family Update!

Yay! We are very excited to know that we're expecting a little girl at the end of March! Murray can now sleep easy, knowing that we'll have one of each.

Batty Bat!

If you're familiar with old time Sesame Street, there is a bit with the Count, doing the Batty Bat. Anyway, that's been going through my head a lot these days.

On Saturday, Gulliver will make a Halloween appearance in his awesome costume. Today I was a good mother not because I cleaned the house (I didn't), not because I fed my son three square meals with nutritious snacks in between (I didn't), and not because I put away the loads of clean laundry we have (I didn't). Today I was a good mom because I made my boy a Halloween costume. To me, Halloween costumes are supposed to be made. I don't think that I ever wore an out-of-the-box Halloween costume, and I'm fairly certain that I did wear a Halloween costume made out of a box. At least once. Anyway, before Gulliver can be old enough to beg for and request any of the prepackaged Halloween costumes out there, I needed to at least knock ONE out of the park. And I'm SOOOOO proud of what I did today. I don't have great photos, but there will be more to come after Saturday!

Gulliver is a bat this year (I still will keep a secret what our coordinating costume will be). I bought him girl leggings (an excellent suggestion from Jenny) and a black turtle neck (unfortunately, my idea that Gulliver could be Steve Jobs for Halloween only occurred to me today...).

Today I bought some black felt and some black glitter felt. I made up a bat-wing shape, and I cut it out of both felts. Then I put that iron-on glue interfacing between the two felts and iron-glued them together. That way, I made a pretty stiff wing! Then I sewed on snaps to the wings and to Gulliver's black turtleneck. I'm REALLY happy with how it turned out, and I promise some better pictures, but this is just a teaser.

Tomorrow I'll buy a black toque (stocking cap) and I will sew huge bat ears onto it. And Saturday, Gulliver will be the most awesome bat you've ever seen. All home made!

My Tough Boy

Here's one more post about Gulliver, but I didn't want it to get lost in the last post. Today, he made me very very proud. We took him to the doctor for his flu shot today. Because I was there for another appointment, when they called Gulliver, Murray went with him alone. I reminded Murray to please ask if they had suckers because Gulliver is old enough to be mollified with sugar now.

Then I waited in the waiting room and listened. I didn't hear a peep and all of a sudden, Murray came back into the room carrying Gulliver, and Gulliver was completely dry-eyed. And carrying a candy.

Apparently, Gulliver got his flu shot and did not even cry. Let the record show that Gulliver is 21 months. (At this point, you don't need to chime in with comments about your children not crying when they received shots at 21 months because I am completely happy ignorantly believing that he is the strongest boy in the world!)

Murray, our eye witness, did say that he whimpered a little. But that was it.

Heck, even during MY appointment, I whimpered a little bit, and when they apologized for hurting me, I explained that I just had to be tough because my 21-month-old just got his flu shot without crying. And then they celebrated with me and told me that he must be REALLY tough.

I really am proud of how tough Gulliver is. I think I always heard that if you give kids too much attention when they hurt themselves then they'll learn that hurting yourself gets you love and attention and then they are wimps. So I have gone to the other extreme and I have actually cheered most times that Gulliver has fallen pretty much his entire life. And either as a result of my superior parenting, or a result of super-tough genetics, when Gulliver falls, 49 times out of 50, he picks himself up and dusts himself off and goes on playing as if nothing happened. (Because let's face it. Nothing happened. He just tripped and didn't actually hurt himself.) When Gulliver DOES hurt himself, he lets me know because he cries. And then I can pick him up and love him. Most of the time, if he hurts himself only a little, he'll come to me holding out the injured part to let me kiss it. But even then, he doesn't cry.

So there you go. I love my tough boy and I'm proud of him.

(And my mom and I have talked about instead of watching out for bullies, I'm going to have to watch out and make sure that Gulliver doesn't BECOME the bully!)

Gulliver Loves

Here is a post all about Gulliver, who Murray and I continue to be in love with.

Gulliver loves the swings at the park more than any other piece of equipment. Today I even let him go on the big boy swing and he held on the whole time.

Gulliver loves the moon and the stars. Every time it's a little dark out (and sometimes when it's completely light out) as soon as we step outside, Gulliver starts saying, "Moon! Moon!" It's hard for me to get his exact pronunciation here. It's very exaggerated, with an extra little syllable at the end, like MOON-uh. When we're driving at night, it's pretty much a steady stream of babble about the moon. And then he also loves stars and will point them out, too. He calls them "Tar."

Gulliver loves some of his shirts! But usually if there's something on it that we can point out. Like his shirt in the above picture, which is one of his favorites because not only does it have a moon and stars, it also has LETTERS, which we're coming to. Whenever he wears a shirt with something on it, I ask, "Where's your monster?" Or "Where's your star?" Or "Where's your plane?" and then he stops, looks at his shirt, and points it out.

Gulliver loves planes. This started at my parents' house last month where on the deck, my parents started pointing out the planes overhead. Now whenever he hears a plane, he stops and looks for it in the sky. He LOVES planes. He pronounces it PEEN! or PEENuh!

Gulliver loves letters and numbers and he's SO GOOD! Wherever we are, whenever he sees a number or a letter, he reads it to us. I am considering decorating his room with some numbers and letters since he loves them so much. So far, he can do the whole alphabet other than L, Q, T (he pronounces this too, and I think it's a combination of both T and U, so we're not counting it), U, and W. Although lately, it seems like when we get to W, he just tries to put a few random syllables together, thinking that that must make a W. As far as numbers go, he still doesn't do 1 (although sometimes I feel like he's making a monosyllabic try at it) and he doesn't do 7. Other than that he can count to ten, and this weekend even counted 10 pumpkins in a pumpkin patch. I think this is the first time that he properly counted ten objects. Gulliver also loves 13. He waits for us to do 11 and 12, though. And then he just does variations on 13 (random syllable + teen) until we get to 20.

Gulliver loves his baby cousin Frosty, and other babies too. Recently Frosty, who is 4 months old, was put down on the ground in a Bumbo, and for the first time was accessible to Gulliver at his level. Gulliver immediately went over and gave her a hug. And then another hug. And then another and another and another hug. He basically kept hugging her until we dragged him out of the house. And Frosty loved all the adoration.

Gulliver loves baths. When I ask him about the bath, he says "Bathoom!" Recently, as soon as I mentioned it, he went to the bottom of the stairs, turned on the stair lights, and headed upstairs into the bathroom himself to get ready. He doesn't know how to take his own clothes off yet though.

Gulliver is starting to learn about bodily functions. We're prepping him for potty training and even bought a potty yesterday. My mom said that we were all trained before we were 2, and I didn't even realize that was an option!! I'd like to give a HECK YES to the idea of getting him out of diapers before we have the next one! So we are trying to at least make him more aware of his bodily functions because we need to have names for things if we're going to do this right. He doens't really respond to "Pee" but if you call it "Pee pee" he does. And then instead of saying "Poo" or "Poop," he says "Poot!" Which we think is really really funny.

So there is your update on Gulliver's development! Basically we believe that our child is the smartest, strongest, handsomest, most adorable boy on earth.

Holy Guano

A conversation between me and Murray, concerning some details of our party costume for this Saturday that will be revealed at a later date:

Murray: We could have guano.

(I think Murray just likes to show off that he knows the word for bat poop.)

Me: We could do that.

Murray: I think it's white.

Me: It is not white.

Murray, in a borderline condescending tone: I'm pretty sure it is white.

Me: I know what guano looks like. It's not white. It looks like mouse poop.

Murray: No, I think it's white.

Me: I will bet you ten thousand dollars that it looks like mouse poop.

Murray looks it up online.

Let's take this small moment to just point out that Murray knows a lot of random things. But there are times that I know a random fact or two and when I happen to know it, it seems that Murray rarely believes me. Like the time that I was trying to tell him that superman was invented by a Canadian. That debate I would say got fairly heated.

So back to the guano:


What does that look like?

Murray, trying to save face: See all this white area around this image? That's the guano.

Me: And then a mouse came and pooped all over it. So. Murray. Do you realize that when I speak somewhat authoritatively on a matter it is because there is an actual real reason for me to know something? Like for example, we had a hunt camp when I was growing up and the attic was full of bats and the ceiling had holes in it and the bat poop would drop down on us every day and we had to sleep with our mouths closed and sweep it up in the morning. I know what guano looks like.

Murray: Well why is bird poop white?

Me: I think they pee and poo out the same hole.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Monkey Man

Last week, we were driving down University Parkway and all of a sudden Gulliver started screeching and oo-ing like a monkey. We thought it was funny so we joined in.

Last night we were driving down University Parkway and in the exact same location, Gulliver started going monkey crazy again, and was clearly very excited.

Obviously he was seeing something but what? We thought it through and realized it must be the blow-up missionary on top of the missionary mall.

Today we tested out that theory and sure enough it proves correct. Gulliver thinks that Utah's own giant blow-up missionary is a monkey.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Gulliver's Hat

This is the first hat that Gulliver has worn voluntarily for more than 10 seconds at a time. He's had it on his head most of the morning. I call it his bat hat. But he also likes to share. He will say, "Dada! At!" when he wants Murray to put on the hat and "Mama! At!" when he wants me to wear it.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Gulliver's First Movie Night

Tonight I got the idea to take Gulliver to his first theater movie. Of course I'm not counting that time when he was a newborn and we took him to a late show and he didn't sleep a wink during the whole thing.

I called Murray at 6:15 and told him Toy Story 3 was at the dollar theater at 6:45, so rush home from work! About five minutes later Murray was home and we all packed into the car and rushed off to Movies 8 in Provo for Gulliver's first theater movie! We had discussed recently that he was probably ready, since he sits through all of the first two Toy Stories when we watch them at home.

It did occur to me on the way over that we may be in trouble because school kids are out for the week.

By the time we got there, the 6:45 showing was sold out. And the next 2D showing was at 9:30. They had 3D but Gulliver would never understand wearing the glasses.

So we left to go grab some dinner. But I did look up Toy Story 3 and saw it was playing at the Spanish Fork theater at 8:50. So we made our way over there. We did discuss the fact that they charge full price but we concluded that neither of us had been there in years and they couldn't possibly charge full price anymore.

We got there a little (very) early and bought our tickets at about $6.50 each. So not a dollar movie by any means. Then we hung out for a while trying to entertain Gulliver before it was time to head into the theater.

Here he is playing inside the car. That kept him entertained at least 15 minutes.

Finally it was time for us to go inside. The movie theater is dollar theater quality for sure. At least there was hardly anyone there and we almost had the theater to ourselves. Unfortunately the sound quality was unacceptable, but Murray complained and since they couldn't fix it they offered us free tickets. And a refund. But we just took the free tickets because we are nice people.

Gulliver enjoyed the movie for sure. The beginning elicited a couple of "Wow!"s and the climax elicited many "Oh no!"s. Especially any time Mr. Potato Head's parts were not on his own body. He also screamed along with the monkey.

He got a little bored in the middle and got up to walk back and forth in our aisle a little but for the most part he watched the movie like a big boy. We are very proud.

At the end he couldn't sing along with You've Got a Friend in Me though (he usually chimes in on all the "me"s) because it was in Spanish.

So that was Gulliver's first movie trip!

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Shoe to the head

This photo was taken in the act of Gulliver bludgeoning my head with a shoe.

In all fairness it was after I dressed him in a pair of girl's black leggings to see if they'd work for a bat costume this Halloween.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Passenger Trains in Utah County?

So our studio is in Springville, Utah, which is the southern part of Utah County and we are located beside train tracks. Trains go by a few times a day, which really doesn't bother us unless 1) we're on a business phone call or 2) we're recording video content and have to trash an entire video.

Of course my assumption would be that all the trains are freight trains. But the other day out of curiosity, I watched an entire train go by. Most cars were freight but then, there were a couple of double decker passenger cars!

It was evening and I could see that the cars were lit, but I don't quite recall if I was actually able to see people inside or if I didn't get a close enough look to see if there were people.

But my question is: Passenger trains in Utah county?

Yes, that's a question.

Are they for real? Or were they just moving some new passenger cars up to the Front Runner in Salt Lake?

I have also heard that you can take a train to San Francisco from Salt Lake City. Really?? Where is this train and how much does it cost?

Google is failing me. What do YOU know, Internets?

In Canada, you get free babies.

So among the many things about the American healthcare system that bother me is that there is no way to actually properly financially prepare for anything. You can't know the price of having a baby, for example, because there are so many people involved with individual fees.

Here's what we knew we could expect:

Doctor's fee (prenatal care and delivery): $2100

Hospital stay, 48 hours: $4900 (less if we only stay 24 hours, but if we're preparing, we may as well prepare for the most possible)

Epidural: $2000 (estimate)

So that is what we were looking at. About $9000 IF I get an epidural. About $7000 without. (NOW can you see why it's actually an issue of money to get one or not? It's not like it's a $2000-decision. It's a $2000-MORE-than-what-we're-already-paying decision.)

Only one thing that neither of us had accounted for were other costs that are not included in this. And these are things that you don't expect, necessarily, because no one has told you about them, and no one informs you, "By the way, we're going to do this and it's going to cost you $XXX.XX." They just do it and send you the bill.

Murray called me VERY concerned this week to inform me that we got a bill from Lab Corp for lab work that matched up with the date of my first visit to the doctor. Yes, I remember that they took blood. And yes, I remember that at my most recent visit to the doctor, she told me that all my work came back looking good; everything was positive that was supposed to be positive, and everything was negative that was supposed to be negative.

What Murray was most concerned about was an item on the bill called "Chlamydia Amplification." This cost $131.50. Now for someone who is one hundred percent sure his wife doesn't have any STDs, I'm sure this item came as an absolute shocker for Murray, because why does Chlamydia need to be amplified if you don't have it?? Of course I don't have it, and I explained to Murray that I'm sure this is a test that legally HAS to be done so that STDs don't get transmitted to babies. But still. It does suck to have to pay $131.50 for someone to test you for Chlamydia, which you've done a really good job of avoiding your whole life.

Anyway, the total bill was $616.70.

At my next doctor's appointment, we will have our ultrasound. For that to be done at our doctor's office, we will receive a bill from the ultrasound technician (anywhere between $220 and $400). The ultrasound tech will then send the ultrasound to a center that will view it and study it and send the results to my doctor. And send me a bill for who knows how much. Who knows, because when does anyone ever inform you of how much you can expect to pay, or even ask your permission?

Then there will be other things to expect (but not actually know how much they will cost). Like getting tested for Gestational Diabetes. I am pretty sure it's a separate charge, and guess what. That orange soda is about $60 a bottle. Not kidding. If I come out positive after the first test, I'm not going to ask for a follow-up test where I can spend another $60 on soda. In fact, I'm really just tempted to ask if I can mix my OWN sugar drink with the needed amount of sugar and substitute it for the soda. Let's face it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be GDS positive again.

(Oh, and by the way, to manage my GDS myself, I will test my blood 4-6 times a day for the last three months of my pregnancy. The test strips cost $1 each, and since this is related to my pregnancy, I don't know that my insurance will help with any of that cost. So I might expect my GDS self-management to cost an extra $300-$400. That's AFTER I got permission from my doctor to manage it myself and forego the biweekly visits to the Diabetes Management Clinic.)

Another thing. I will have to get a shot because my blood is rH negative. How much does that cost?

What about the hospital stay itself? Yes, I know how much the hospital charges for me to stay there. But what tests are done at the hospital that they charge me for separately? How much are they going to charge me for a Tylenol? What are the extra costs that one might incur while staying at the hospital (that again, you're not informed of as they happen; you're only sent the bill afterwards and you realize that that Q-tip cost you $8).

So it's really frustrating. I hope to get together with a friend soon who had a baby last year and also went to my doctor, and paid for everything in cash. I think she's pretty financially organized and I hope that she's got a folder of all her expenses so that I can add it up and get an idea of what we might have to pay for the baby.

Because we have NO CLUE and I think that a system where you can't actually properly financially prepare for service SUCKS.

(And just to let you know so that I don't start getting anonymous donations in the mail, we've saved lots of money and we do have Aflac that will kick in a little help, and we are 100% confident that we have the money to cover everything [and if there are expensive complications, then my insurance will kick in]. It's not that I'm worried that we don't know if we can afford it, it's just that it's frustrating not actually knowing how much something like this will cost us.)

(And just to be clear as well, as a reminder, if you are self employed in Utah there is NO MATERNITY COVERAGE AVAILABLE in any healthcare plan. It's not that we're in this mess because we chose a bad plan. We're in this mess because we chose to start our own business and make our own way in the world.)

(That's why I like to travel lots, so that I can take advantage of the perks of self employment as often as possible to remind myself that I really do actually prefer this.)

Feeling the Guilt

Yesterday when I was working at our studio, I went to use the ladies' room.

Twenty minutes later, I went to use the ladies' room again. I'm pregnant. This is what happens.

Except this time, there was a mouse in the middle of the floor, blocking me from getting to the stalls, without having to actually step over it.

Which is weird, right? Because normally mice run away.

And I promise you, I let out a sound when I saw it. (I'd like to say a feminine scream but it was more of a manly grunt... possibly an indication that I'm having a boy?) It still didn't move.

So I took a picture of it to send to Murray.

And then I ventured even CLOSER to see if it was breathing. And it WAS!!

So why was it just sitting in the middle of the floor like that, all slumbery?

I went back to the studio and checked our mouse poison. When we first moved in here, there was some evidence of mice, so naturally I bought mouse poison. The bags of mouse poison have remained in tact ever since and we've seen no further evidence of mice.

This time, there was a hole in one of the packs of mouse poison. Which would explain why the mouse was just sitting there.

So then about 20 minutes later, curiosity (and thirst) got the better of me. I went to the drinking fountain outside the bathrooms and I went into the bathroom again to peek. The mouse was no longer in the middle of the floor. I looked around, and found it a few feet away, around the corner by a trash can. Still the same position. Still breathing.

Then about 2 hours later I went to check on the little victim again. It was about another foot away from where it previously was, and its legs were splayed out in behind it and it was most obviously not breathing.

And I cannot help but feel guilty that I left the tiny (and let's face it - cute!) little creature to internally hemorrhage to death! AND that I didn't have the guts to just put it out of its misery when I first found it. AND that I just left its little corpse lying there instead of disposing it. And probably a sweet little church lady is going to find it (because a church also shares our office building).

(At least I can use the pregnancy and protecting my unborn child from unknown diseases as an excuse for not getting near it.)

Happy Halloween!!

It's my most hated time of the year. Please note that I'm writing this blog post in September.

I absolutely despise houses all decked out for Halloween more than a month in advance. And just in case you're wondering Kami, I'm not talking about the tastefully cute Halloween wreath you have on your door. (Heck, you had gingerbread houses all done up when I came into your house, so I know that you're all about the advance-prep for holidays!)

No, I'm talking about the house I saw in Orem this week that had a door completely covered in fake blood, with the words KEEP OUT. Also written in blood.

I'm talking about my neighbors a couple blocks away from me whose Halloween display assaults my eyes every year, especially since it goes up in SEPTEMBER. It consists of spider webs all over their bushes, skull lights along their walk way, a skeleton rising from the earth beside their shrubs, orange halloween lights EVERYWHERE, and (I think it's a new addition this year) a human-sized ghoul hovering beside their door.

I am not trying to be a joy killer. I know that lots of people out there love Halloween more than all other holidays! But are death and blood the kind of decorations that should be outside your house for an ENTIRE MONTH??

I would love to limit Halloween decorations to the night of Halloween, at which point they are completely appropriate and I give you full license to go as overboard as you like.

I will even be generous and allow people a week before Halloween, in case of any parties they need to host that don't fall on the NIGHT of Halloween.

Not in September.

And not for most of the month of October. Please, spare me.


Maybe it's the Canadian in me but September, in the middle of 90 degree weather, struck me as a really good time to buy Gulliver a full-on snow suit.

Now we just have to wait three more months to play, bud.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Call for Recommendations

I think that it's time for me to start thinking about potty training. More than likely it is still a little ways off, but I'd like to start reading up on what to do. Any book recommendations?

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

Gulliver Is on Shrooms

That was Murray's suggested title for this post. I would have chosen something more lovely like, "Gulliver in the Enchanted Forest." Either way, cute picture of a cute boy.

We're out in Maryland visiting my parents and today we took Gulliver to a petting zoo that we took him to last time we were here. There are cheesy, over-the-top, tacky elements to this place, called the Enchanted Forest, but that I think made things even more fun. Last time (in April) Gulliver wasn't old enough to "get" the Enchanted Forest part. He mostly liked the animals, to varying degrees. This time, he did like some of the Enchanted Forest stuff (like the mushrooms) and he also enjoyed the animals a little more.

Artie Fartie

The dialog between me and Murray right now.

Murray: I have a name that I'm about as set on as I was on Gulliver if we have a boy.

Me: Is it Silas?

Murray: No. It's Draco.

Me: Is it Alan Rickman?

Murray: No. Do you want to know what it is?

Me: Yes.

Murray: It's Arthur. Because we can call him Art. And Artie. And I'd just sit him down before we send him to school and say, "Okay. The kids are going to call you Artie Fartie. And that's just because they're kids and they are stupid and have no imagination. Do you know what a fart is? Anyway. Don't let it bother you."

Me: Are you kidding? I'll sit him down and say okay Artie. The kids at school are going to call you Artie Farty. When they do that, you punch them in the face, push them down on the ground, sit on their head and fart in their face. And ask, Who's farty now?"

Murray: You son of a bitch?

And then we said, "Who's farty now you son of a bitch" in a kindergarten voice. And laughed at how funny we are.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Just a Thought

So I'm not a total raging feminist who gets offended at every little thing, but I do have to say that it really bugs me when people talk about my doctor and say "he." It usually happens when I'm filling prescriptions, and actually the first few times it legitimately confused me because I assumed they must be talking about someone else, like maybe the pharmacist who filled my prescription. Not that I think all pharmacists are men, but I don't usually connect an out-of-context "he" with my female doctor.

I think that people just need to adjust to saying, "Your doctor stated that your son should take this twice a day," rather than "He said your son should take this twice a day."

(But just as a guilty admission, I always talk to people about their male printer. Like, "If your printer has any questions about this file or any problems at all, he can contact me directly by phone or email." I know I need to fix this.)

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

2 B Y

So this post is all about how brilliant Gulliver is. If you don't want to read it because he is the most brilliant baby in the world, I'll understand. But as a mother, I choose to fully exercise my boasting rights.


So the first story is a little personal to my family. Gulliver loves numbers and letters and we're practicing them all the time. Lately, he's been saying "2.... B.... Y....." And I've thought, "Huh. It's funny that he's mixing them up like that, but who am I to judge?"


The other night, Gulliver was a little more alert than usual as I was getting him ready for bed. Our ritual these days consists of Gulliver almost passing out in my arms as I carry him upstairs to his dark room. Then he cuddles me like that for a while as I rock him and sing to him. So a few nights ago, like I said he wasn't all the way passed out, and I was singing to him our nightly song, which is a Muppets Christmas song that is a family classic, "It's in Every One of Us." The second line of "It's in Every One of Us" is "to be wise." So I sang "tooooooo beeeeeeeee wiiiiiiiiise" and Gulliver sang "tooooooooo beeeeeeeee whyyyyyyyyy." And THEN I realized why Gulliver was putting that number and those letters together! He was singing his bedtime song!


Speaking of numbers and letters, here's a tally of the numbers and letters that Gulliver says lately:
two (two)
three (tee)
six (seesh)
nine (nine)
thirteen (teetee)
A (aye)
B (bee)
C (occasionally - see)
H (occasionally - aich)
I (aye!)
O (oh)
R (aaaayh)
Y (why)

When we're in the car, I'll often recite the alphabet and wait for him to chime in the letters that he knows. Lately, when I get to X I pause and hear nothing. Then I turn around to make eye contact with him, and he gives me the darlingest smile and says all slyly, "Whyyyyyyyyy." He's a charmer.


A couple weeks ago we were in Home Depot. I heard Gulliver saying, "Oh. Oh. Oh." I looked down, and he was pointing to the O in HOME DEPOT that was written across the handles of the shopping cart. GENIUS!

Later that night, we were shopping at Walmart and I handed him some dish rags that I was going to buy, and I heard him saying, "Nine. Nine. Nine." I looked down and he was pointing at an upside down 6 on the packaging. GENIUS! I flipped the packaging right-side up, and then he also identified the As on the packaging.


Another thing that we say to Gulliver on a regular basis lately is "Where ARE we?" We usually say this when we're almost to Grandma and Grandpa's house, but we also say it when we pull into our house, or if we pull into another exciting destination. Gulliver excitedly repeats, "We wah weee!" Sometimes with extra syllables, like, "Weee wa wa wa wa WAH we?" Well, a few blocks away from G & G's the other day, I asked, "Where are we GOING?" Gulliver thought about it for a moment, and then replied, "Bu pa!!" That's right. We were going to Bu pa's house. (Grandpa is maybe Gulliver's favorite person in the world. Never try to rip him from the arms of Bupa.)

And how is Gulliver going to use his smarts? To become an astronaut.

(Yesterday, Labor Day, Gulliver was DELIGHTED to go outside and discover this flag planted in our front yard. Best. Surprise. Ever.)

Since I'm Horrible At Writing and Sending Letters

To the owner/operator of our local Walgreens,

My husband Murray was in your store a few evenings ago. As he waited in line to purchase his items, two employees worked behind the counter. One employee said to the other (and it pains me to even write this), "I just had a brain fart." To this, the other employee responded by passing gas loudly.

I am bringing this to your attention so that you can have a much-needed discussion about propriety with your staff.


First Baby Appointment

We had our first baby appointment today. Last time, we didn't hear the heartbeat the first time, so I didn't get my hopes up this time, but we did! We heard it! It was 160. I can't find what Gulliver's heartbeat was, but I was able to find an old blog post that indicated it was over 140. So I guess we can't count on it being a girl for sure. We'll have to wait about 9 more weeks or so to find out.

This pregnancy will be a little interesting because as I mentioned before, we'll be paying for everything at 100%. For the self-insured, there is NO maternity coverage from any health insurance provider. Help will kick in if something goes wrong, but we can expect to pay for everything if all goes right. At least we got in on Aflac before they closed their supplemental policies to Utahns.

We love our doctor and are thrilled that our insurance situation won't get in the way of her delivering baby number 2. She's also willing to work with us to find ways to bring down costs. For example, if I have gestational diabetes again (which I probably will), I won't have to go to the diabetes center every two weeks this time. I was able to manage the whole thing with diet last time, so I know what I'm doing. I'll just report my numbers directly to my doctor instead of going to biweekly counseling. By the way, she's a family doctor, and I also have to say that I LOVE that our doctor is a family doctor. I highly recommend it. It's just nice that she knows all of us, and there's no separate pediatrician or anything. She's it. And she's wonderful.

The epidural is still a big $2000 question. Our doctor said, of course, that unless I prepare for natural birth, then it doesn't matter HOW much the epidural costs, I will pay it. Not that I was planning on NOT preparing. But still. I already feel like we'll just end up paying for the epidural anyway because right now the only reason for me not getting it is financial. And I'd love to be all passionate about natural childbirth and hop on that trend, but I still do NOT see the appeal of doing it naturally. Please feel free to weigh in. Tonight I bought Ricki Lake's book that changed Dooce's perspective on everything. I haven't made it past the forward yet, but I'm very very not convinced yet.

I think that the best way to go about it is to just dedicate a job, or a couple of jobs, to the epidural. For example, tonight, I need to work on a client's rush job. I don't expect this job to take me more than a few hours. So then mentally (or "physically") I can put the money from this job aside into an "epidural" fund. Three more rush jobs like this and my comfort is all paid for.

I'm leaning towards that solution.

ON THE OTHER HAND, $2000 is still $2000 no matter how I make it. And it's still $2000 I could spend on something else. Here is a list of things that cost $2000:
- two tickets to Europe (I'm being optimistic)
- two tickets to Hawaii + part of the hotel (I've never been)
- a 27" iMac (I don't need one, but STILL)
- an incredibly comfortable, perfect rocking/gliding/nursing chair so that I can take care of the new baby as comfortably as possible
- 4 iPads (no, I wouldn't buy 4 iPads. But STILL)
- 2.5 family trips to Maryland (maybe even 3)
- 6 (?) hours of relative comfort that previous generations lived without during childbirth

What would YOU do?

Gulliver Loves... DINOSAURS!

Lately Gulliver has been enjoying dinosaurs. This started, I think, when Murray got Gulliver a dinosaur toy with the tickets he won at the Nicklecade last month.

Although I don't think you should be able to "win" tickets if you're playing Skeeball like this:

Gulliver learns young that cheating gets you ahead.

Yesterday I headed off to the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point on a whim to meet with girlfriends, but alas, we didn't know it was two-dollar-Tuesday, which meant that the entire place was SWAMPED with moms and strollers. Since school has started, you really only got the too-young-for-school crowd, which made for a real mad house. Which is why we ended up going to the petting zoo instead. And I was the only one who stuck around for the 50 minute wait for the pony ride.

Anyway, Murray was happy that the dinosaur thing didn't work out because he realized he'd really like to come along. So today after Gulliver's nap, we took a family trip to the natural history museum (perk #1 of being self employed---the ability to go off and have spontaneous fun).

It was a little pricier than I was expecting ($10 for adults... I thought maybe $5.50) but I still agree with our choice to avoid the crowds. We practically had the place to ourselves (but Boobs McGee also showed up, and she was showing enough cleavage to count for at least five other women).

Ironically, the best dinosaur reaction we got of the day was to the huge T-Rex on the outside of the building, that we didn't have to pay anything to see. Still, I feel like the $20 we spent was money put towards Gulliver's education. He is now much more informed about dinosaurs.

I don't really think that Gulliver got the whole skeleton thing, except at the end of the exhibit when he bumped into this mammoth:

Of course, maybe he was just impressed with the drama of the gruesome scene before him...

Here are some more highlights from the trip:

Riding on the back of the "parents please do not allow children to climb on dinosaur" dinosaur.

Budding paleontologist, stepping on skull of discovery.

These dinosaurs are within 3 seconds of kissing each other. Gulliver's theory on the extinction of the dinosaurs is that they all just loved each other so much and got along so well that there was nothing more for them to learn in this earthly life and they all went to heaven where they belong.

So that concludes the summary of Gulliver's excursion to the dinosaur museum. Oh, and by the way, if you ask him, a dinosaur says "Rooooooooooooar!"

Art Weekend in SLC!

Nicole announced the Art Weekend in SLC today! Yay! This is an awesome opportunity to develop some skills you wish you had. The event sells out pretty quickly, though, so if there's a class you really HAVE to take, I would suggest signing up for it asap!!

Here's the full class offering this year. And you can go to the site for full info and sign-up!

Customizing Blogger Blogs
Illustrator 101 Basics
Illustrator: Creating an Identity
Illustrator: Making a Pattern
Illustrator: Pretty Paper Products
Party Planning 101
Photo 101 Basics
Photo Workflow
Photoshop 101 Basics
Photoshop Actions
Photoshop Elements
Sewing: Making Jeans Skinny
Sewing: Camera Straps
Studio Lighting
Tabletop Photography

Merry Christmas in September!

Oh look! My "friend" has lots of Christmas cards available on Shutterfly!

Gullie gets a pony

Worth the 50 minute wait? Yep.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

By the way...

A "friend" who has a LOT in common with me has a framed print for auction (to benefit Gulf Coast restoration efforts) up on Ebay! Check it out!

The Baby Snatcher

Today I was lying down for a leisurely nap while Gulliver was napping. I'd been talking on the phone with my mom, and was just about to settle down to sleep when I heard Gulliver cry and whimper a little. I kept listening, but he didn't make any more noise, which meant that he woke up briefly and then went back to sleep.

Then I heard the front door open and realized that Murray was home. So I got out of bed and crept downstairs to let Murray know not to make a peep, since Gulliver was just barely falling back to sleep.

Except Murray wasn't downstairs.

No one was downstairs.

And the front door was unlocked. I NEVER leave the front door unlocked. So naturally I assumed that I HAD left the front door unlocked. I peeked outside and didn't see anyone. I shut and locked the door, assuming that a small neighborhood child had mistakenly come to our door instead of his own house and was probably stopped immediately by his parent.

And then I had the sickening thought that maybe when I'd heard Gulliver whimpering and crying, there was, in fact, someone ALREADY in the house which I had foolishly left unlocked, and that Gulliver was no longer THERE because a BABY SNATCHER came and stole him.

So nap-be-damned, I rushed up the stairs and swung Gulliver's bedroom door open to find...

...a very sleepy Gulliver waking up and looking at me.

As any mother would in this case, I scooped up my precious baby boy into my arms and rocked him back to sleep in the rocking chair.

Only then it occurred to me.

What if someone was STILL IN THE HOUSE?

So as I rocked and thought about this, I heard the door unlock and open again.

To my GREAT RELIEF because I'm not so paranoid as to believe that someone other than us has the capability to unlock our door besides us.

When Murray came upstairs, I scolded him (softly because Gulliver was napping in my arms) for all the anguish he put me through. Apparently he had come home from work, opened the door, and realized that he hadn't gotten the mail. So he closed the door, got the mail, and then was pretty confused to find the door locked again when he came back.

The end. No baby snatcher after all, and also, I DON'T leave the door unlocked when I'm at home. Murray used his keys to open it both times.

(As an aside, it drives me nuts that whenever I leave the house, Murray bolts the door. I think that during the day, the lock on the door handle is enough. So I recently asked Murray why he always bolts the door and he said, "I always bolt the door when I am [indisposed] because I'm always afraid that if I don't, someone will break in and steal Gulliver while I'm [indisposed]!")

One More Thing...

There are certain things about Gulliver that I know I will never understand. Like the scary elephant. I can just say to him "scary elephant" now and he whimpers and looks at me with sad eyes. (I'm not a mean mom. Usually the context is, "Don't choose that one! That's the one with the scary elephant you don't like!" Cue sad eyes.)

The other thing I don't think I'll ever really get an answer for is the whole toothbrush thing. Gulliver loves my toothbrush. He loves it so much that every time I brush my teeth, he throws an absolute fit because I have the toothbrush and he doesn't. What would you do if you were in my situation? Oh, right, you'd give him his own toothbrush, right? So one day I took another adult toothbrush out of its packaging and gave that to Gulliver. His very own toothbrush. And he loved it.


He still wanted mine.

So one toothbrush was no longer enough. He needed two.

So I went out and I bought him a real kiddie toothbrush, with a lion and a suction cup on the bottom and everything.

And he loved it.


He still wanted mine.

I do not understand this at all. He starts crying the moment I start brushing my teeth, and the crying doesn't stop unless I eventually give him the toothbrush. At times, I try to just distract him with something new, but this is something that he allows himself to get so worked up over that distraction doesn't work. He just cries and cries like I've betrayed him in the worst way.

So I've just given in. Letting Gulliver chew my toothbrush after I'm done with it is now just a part of my toothbrushing routine. And the routine begins with searching the whole house for where Gulliver last dropped my toothbrush.

By the way, check out Murray's blog for some awesome photos. And rest assured that we do actually clothe our baby. Sometimes.

Let Me Be Clear

Apparently in my last post, the line about Gulliver not being the cutest baby in the world for much longer gave rise to some speculation that I might be pregnant.

Let me be absolutely clear.

That line meant that Gulliver is growing up so fast that he is not going to be a baby much longer. He walks. He runs. He climbs steps. He says words (a word I forgot was waffle---pronounced faffle). And he gets more and more personality by the day.

That line did NOT mean that he will no longer be the most adorable baby because a MORE adorable baby is on the way.

The farthest I would go would be to say that the baby on the way will be EQUALLY adorable to Gulliver. But, you know. At six weeks, it's very hard to tell.

The elephant in question...

In case you were wondering this
Is the terrifying elephant that Gulliver is so afraid of that I mentioned in the previous post. I don't understand why it's the source of so much fear, but I do know that he hates the sound it makes. Which is funny because we make elephant noises to him all the time. I don't think we will ever understand why Gulliver hates this elephant so much. I mean he has literally shrieked in terror at the sight of it. Maybe it plagues his nightmares? Maybe it's the red eye?

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Let's Pretend I've Been a Good Blogger

I know, I suck. And I can give you all the excuses. But mostly, the biggest excuse is that I'm busy at work and when I'm not working, I am not on the computer. But I will try to be better!

So here is the update on Gulliver who is getting bigger and bigger and is the most adorable baby (not for much longer) in the whole wide world.

Gulliver Loves...

... the backyard with its kiddie pool. He plays naked in it several times a week.

... the fountain at Lagoon. We went to Lagoon twice in the last week. Gulliver was very good on the rides, although he did have the classic kid-ride reaction that we failed to get on camera. Basically, we loaded him up into a helicopter with Vee and Bean and everything was normal until the ride started and it took off in the air, and THEN you should have seen Gulliver's face---his eyes and mouth got as wide as they can possibly go for the first two rounds. And then he just started clapping. Classic. At the end of our first trip to Lagoon, we let the kiddies play in the fountain, which is the type of fountain where the ground is dry and all the water shoots up around you, coordinated to music. I think that Gulliver just about died and went to heaven. I could tell by people in the audience laughing that I wasn't the only one getting a kick out of him. On our second trip to Lagoon, I budgeted more time for the fountain (since the first time I had to drag him away, soaking, and kicking, and screaming) and someone commented to Captain Fabuloso (who was watching him for a while) that his best entertainment of the day was watching Gulliver play in the fountain, since every time the water hit him, the shock and delight was exactly the same.

... Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie, and Sesame Street in general. We have the 40th anniversary DVD and we are always watching the first one. I'm just struck at how clever and legitimately funny it is---the influence of Jim Henson is very obvious in the early days of Sesame Street. We love watching it with Gulliver and hearing him laugh at all the different things.

... counting. Gulliver loves numbers. He's been a pro at two and three for a little while now, but today he added a few more to his repertoire: five (aye), eight (aie), and nine (niiiiiiine). He is so smart. He likes to count his toys.

... the iPad. No screen time before 2? Well, we certainly suck at that. Gulliver loves the iPad and I've got it fully stocked with the best kids' apps. Gulliver is, however, terrified of a certain elephant in a certain app. I'm working at getting him used to it, but it is going to take a little more work. We have NO IDEA why he is so afraid of the elephant.

... bananas. Still.

... trucks and big vehicles. When he sees a big truck go by, he says, "Wow!" Not drawn out. It's quite staccato, actually. Wow. It's a pronouncement.

... kisses. And I love kisses, too. He took a little kissing hiatus, but now his kisses are back in full force. They're extra adorable since he usually says "Mwa!" when he kisses you. He has lots of different kisses, like the sloppy kiss (not my favorite), the head-butt kiss (also not my favorite), the succession kiss (mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa), and the Godfather kiss where the grabs both sides of your face and lays one on you ("You broke my heart!"). He also likes to sneak in a zerburt (sp?) kiss every now and then, which legitimately makes the both of us laugh. I find that Gulliver makes me laugh all the time.

... going into closets, closing the door, and coming out again (no jokes, please). This is a big delight to him. Except that he can't actually open the door to let himself out, so sometimes to make the game more interesting, I leave him in there for a while.

... going up and down stairs like a big boy. Sometimes Gulliver likes to be carried up and down the stairs. But sometimes he likes to hold my hand and walk up and down like a big boy. What he loves the MOST though is to find a step that's just his size and go up and down and up and down and up and down to his heart's content!

Gulliver says...

..."bye!" Finally! It's the cutest most sing-song "bye" you've ever heard. And he waves occasionally. Sometimes with one hand. Sometimes with both.

... car, which he pronounces, "cah?" or occasionally "cahy?" It's always a question. And we ask him, "Do you want to go in the car?" And he'll say "Go go! Cahy?"

... no for nose, tee for teeth, eye for eye(s)

... cackle! for tickle! He is a pro at giving tickles. We tell him whose feet to go and tickle and he goes and tickles that person's feet, saying, "Cackle! Cackle!"

... it's Ootsie! Since I want to foster as much of a relationship as possible with Gulliver and my parents who live in Maryland, every time my mom calls or I call her (almost every day) I announce excitedly, "It's Ootsie! It's Ootsie!" Gulliver has started saying this now, too. He says "itsitsy."

... cool! This is new as of a couple days ago. But Gulliver is clearly saying "Cool!" now when he sees something cool.


In July Gulliver has his first night of throwing up. We were at a hotel and he was having trouble sleeping so I had him in bed with me and at a certain point, he threw up in the bed. So I cleaned him all up, took off all the linens from the bed, threw them in the hall and called the front desk, requested more linens and towels, and tried to rock him to sleep again. And then he threw up again all over me. So we washed up again, I changed my clothes, we put more soiled linens in the hall, and got him settled in on the other bed. And then he threw up again. So we stripped the bed, got him all cleaned up, got a bunch of towels from the front desk again (by this time, Murray was on a first name basis with the front desk lady) and the fourth (and final) time Gulliver threw up, at least it was completely contained by towels. Lesson learned: Just get a bunch of towels in the first place and if at all possible, try to have your child get sick at a hotel with an endless supply of clean linens, who also have to do your laundry for you.

Gulliver is now in nursery at church. So far it's going okay, but he's not the champ I thought he'd be. I thought that he'd be in there playing oblivious to our absence the whole time, but apparently sometimes he gets sad :(

Gulliver had his first "owie." And it was all my fault. He got a pretty bad sunburn on his arm and a small part of it had blisters. So for a while I had a band aid on it. When asked, "Where's your owie?" Gulliver would make a sad, sad face and point to his band aid. And then he'd want a kiss for it. Now if I ask him where his owie is, he searches desperately on both arms for it, but can't find it anymore! He still wants a kiss.

Which reminds me, maybe this isn't a milestone, but today, Gullie showed us fake crying. It all started with this foam fan that his grandpa got him---it's a toy where if you hold down the button, the foam blades of an airplane spin and the middle lights up. It's pretty fancy to be sure, but I was watching Gulliver playing with it, and any time he put his hands in the way of the blades, he'd make a sad face and say "ow." So I tried it out, and of course it doesn't hurt at all. I guess it just looks to Gulliver like it SHOULD hurt. So being the good mom that I am, helping my baby son to man-up, I chased him around with it, trying to touch the spinning blade to any part of him I could catch, like his hands, his arms, his legs, his belly, etc. Every time I'd catch him, he'd make the sad face and say "Ow." I'd keep reminding him that it didn't actually hurt, and he thought the game was fun anyway. Well, a little later I was reading a book to him that is all about building vocabulary so there are lots of pictures with one or two words underneath. All of a sudden, Gulliver was fake crying, and I looked and he was pointing to a picture of a baby crying. He is so smart. Now he knows how to fake it. (But because I'm mom, I know when he's faking.)

And speaking of "Mom," you'll notice that Mom, Mommy, and Mumma are all missing from the list of things that Gulliver says. Because he STILL doesn't call me anything.

But Gulliver is a pro at certain animal noises (lion, cow, monkey, snake, horse, elephant, and train...which I realize isn't an animal). The other day it was raining and I said to Gulliver, "It's RAINING!!" And he said, "Choo choooooo!" And yesterday Murray was in the car with Gulliver listening to Led Zeppelin's "Move On Down the Line", and Gulliver said, "ROOOOOAR!!"

Needless to say, we are both utterly in love with Gulliver, who entertains us endlessly.