Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Week

Spring has sprung!  The flowers are blooming.  The sleeves are getting shorter. The park is getting busier. The grass is getting mowed.  The grill is being used.  Ahhh...the hope of a fun summer!

 Just living the dream around these parts.  I don't have much to say, but here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Visiting Daddy at work

 Kingo commandeered Naomi's chair while she was sleeping!


Easter Sunday = cute baby dresses!  And beautiful family pictures.  Omigosh, I loved looking at everyone's pics on the Facebook.

 Rosy Pink Daughter

So giddy to get a Minnie Bunny.



Daddy picked out the Minnie bunny and we hid it for a month to give to Nome on Easter Sunday.  We didn't do anything else, so I'm glad I "okayed" that purchase.  ;)

Selfie Sunday


 The closest thing we got to a family picture on Easter Sunday before church.

 yup, not so perfect that I needed to iron a tablecloth

My giddy moment was getting to use a pink table cloth (thanks to my Grandma Nome!) and pink plates for the first time in my life!  Those daffodils are from our flower beds!  The yellow candies are worth a special mention: Lemoncello Almonds. We bought them from Costco and they were the favorite!

We entertained a small crowd: Grandma and Grandpa Harper and cousins: Brandon and Brianna, whilst Naomi slept.  We ate the typical fair: Cafe Parisian Salad, Black Forest Ham, Funeral Potatoes, Peas and Carrots, Dinner Rolls, Strawberries, Lemon Ricotta Cookies (You really need to make these cookies. They are too delicious).  It wasn't a difficult meal to make, but plenty satisfying and very much appreciated by all! 

BTW, The hard boiled eggs were made into egg salad for my lunch today instead of deviled eggs or pickled beet eggs for dinner.

And here's a pic from today:  

Those piggies are crying for some clip-on Minnie ears!

Nomie decided to corner herself.  She's sitting on a foam roller (bless those weapons of myofascial release!) next to a collapsed play tunnel.

So, there you have it, a few highlights from last week.  Now I'm gearing up for the end of another semester, a trip to the happiest place in the western U.S., and a summer of freedom.  I LOVE my job, but it's nice to have a break too.

Happiness to everyone!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Gotcha Day Kitty Boy!

It has been two years to the day since we adopted our sweet Kingo cat!  Much has changed since then: moving to a new house and adding baby sister Naomi to the family.  


I'm so glad I found his ad on KSL and that we decided to give him a purfect home.  He was 1 year old and living with a single guy in a tiny studio apartment.  He needed us and we needed him.  We just love him more and more each day. 


Crouching Kitty


He cuddles us and comforts us and meows at us all the time.  We couldn't ask for a better suited-for-us kitty.

 Snuggle time after church while Nomie was sleeping 

Selfie Sunday


Happy 2nd Gotcha Day Kingo!  We smile more because you're in our home. Continue to enjoy your life of sleeping, eating, playing, and cuddling.  We will too!  

And thank you Hylan for encouraging me to adopt our kitty and loving him immediately even though you didn't think you liked cats before.  Now you let a cat sleep on your face, or nearby it, nearly every night! Ha ha.  And thanks for taking care of his box and his food.  

    Hmm...wonder what they're looking at?
Actually, I think it's the mirror.  LOL!

Friday, April 11, 2014

More Random Ramblings

I found this picture from a few years ago.

Sunday, April 13th marks 8 years of marriage.  Splendid.


I remembered something from February.

I decided it would be Hylan's ultimate Valentine's gift to fill up our downstairs fridge with drinks (ahem, soda) because you know, that's living the dream, right? For him, not me.  Mine would be ice cream but since it took me 6 days to polish off a small frozen custard from Culver's, better not stock my freezer with ice cream that would get freezer burnt before I could down it. I eat it nearly every night, but in small doses.  Okay, ice cream confession: 1/2 gallon of Turkey Hill Cookie Dough and half of a 1/2 gallon of Turkey Hill Mint Chocolate Chip.  Actually, it's not a confession.  I'm a proud ice cream eater.  What's in your freezer?     

Then I didn't do it, but I told him that that's what I would have done had I gotten around to it.  HA.

So, then I did it for his birthday (a week and a half later).  And it made Hylan exceedingly glad.

This is what it looks like today:

Man I'm so awesome and patient when it comes to taking pictures, but you get the idea.


Recently Hylan has told me he is going off soda again.  And my evil plan worked.  Overwhelm him with so many sodas that he gets sick of it and decides not to drink it.  

In other news:

Hylan is now a CrossFitter (just finished week 5).  He's trying to heal up a chronic hurt back/neck (degenerative spine/disc disease, bulging discs--all the fun stuff).  I don't know if he is hooked, per se, but he does seem to like it (5:30 am class, eek.  Good for him). 

I have my reservations about Crossfit (like, it's only for people who absolutely know what they're doing and can check their egos at the door because most of the workouts set regular people up for injury and failure). He has said the camaraderie is a bonus.  I get that.  Group fitness is awesome!

Perhaps someday I'll convince him that Pilates and Yoga are the best therapy for spinal health and core strength.  Or, maybe I'll have to try CrossFit, so I can be super cool too. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Reading and stuff

In light of my recent post about the virtues of TV, let the record show that I also don't think reading is inherently good or inherently better than TV viewing either.  

There can be entertainment value in either medium.  There can be uplifting, enlightening qualities in either as there can also be degrading, garbage books and TV/movies.  So, I just wanted to get that out there.  

With that being said, man I spend a lot of time reading.  Lately, especially with a fun story to read, but not as much novel/pleasure reading as I wish I would.  I'm really not as great of a reader as you would expect from and English major graduate.  What I mean is I often spend a lot of time reading...all kinds of stuff...but not as much book reading as I'd like.

Anyway, get to the point Emily.


Since that movie "Divergent" came out, I decided it would be better to read the book first then watch the movie.  Since the only movies in theater we've seen since Naomi was born were "Frozen" and "Catching Fire" both while we were on vacation in PA, it probably wouldn't be too hard to resist seeing the movie before finishing the book.


Paperback version of the book cover, obviously promoting the movie, and filled with all kinds of extra fun stuff in the back of the book that yes, I did read because I'm a nerd like that.  And yes, I think my aptitude is Erudite but I would choose Amity.  Oh Amity, the life!  Suits me.  And yup, Hylan is a total Divergent and would choose Dauntless, no question.  


Then Hylan said he would like to read it together.  Say what?  

Hylan doesn't read novels for fun.  Ever.  He confessed that he doesn't think he really has read any fiction book cover to cover.  Um, what?  Yup.  He used movies, cliff notes, other people's accounts, whatever he needed to to get by in a class or for a report.  Yes, that shocks me too.  I've always loved reading books and go through phases where I can't stop reading and read many books at once, and then have a dearth where I read nothing for many many months.  Usually because I'm too tired or busy, or something....

However, Hylan has/does read financial/economic/trading books...real interesting stuff, as well as some church historical/doctrinal literature here and there.  But, he fully admits he's not much of a reader.

So, when he said he would like to read it together, I was like hooray.  And we did.  I mean, I might have finished "Divergent" first and then actually finished "Insurgent" about 10 minutes after he finished "Divergent," but what a victory!


I haven't been able to delve into "Allegiant" yet, and Hylan is wishy-washy on whether or not he'll read "Insurgent" because, according to him, it takes a lot of time.  And, that was a lot of pages.  But, I think he will, since the ending to "Divergent" is very unsatisfying.

And in any case, now we can watch the movie sometime!  And hooray for a husband who reads with me, or read with me that one time.  :)

So, what else should I be reading while Naomi watches Baby First TV?  Ha ha.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Naomi and the Tiger

I have succeeded in teaching Naomi to love kitties.  She squeals with delight and points at our Bubba Kingo-mo. Gomo. Kitty Son. Kitty Boy.  Bubba Gomo.  Kingokat.  Kingoman.  He has lots of names.


Somehow I also taught her to wave at him every time she sees him.  I guess it's because we greet and part from him many times during a day and I usually wave during those times.  It's cute.

A few weeks ago I turned on the TV.  Gasp, you turned on the TV and let your one-year old watch... Yes, yes I did.  I love TV.  I see it as a tool that can be used for good or ill, in moderation or excess.  And I let my daughter play with my smart phone (don't worry, I do disinfect it with alcohol wipes regularly), but I'm not overly concerned in light of recent "studies" (yes, that was a purposeful quote with a hint of sarcasm) about screen time and kids.

Look, I get it.  Kids aren't getting enough activity.  Parents are ignoring their children.  TV is not a babysitter. Kids spend too much time on phones.  ETC.  I understand it all, but I play with my daughter all day long. She doesn't zone out in front of a TV for too long.  And for that matter, I don't find TV evil.  She loves the Baby First channel and Disney Junior, the latter of the two is easier for me to stomach but the former is her absolute favorite.

Anyway, I got off on a tangent and will leave that debate for another time.  Actually the point of all of this jargon is to tell a story.

So, one Saturday morning I turned on the TV and a show called "Wildlife Docs" was on.  There was a tiger cub featured on the show and Naomi brightened.  I kept pointing and squealing and she kept pointing and squealing.  Tears of delight might have been shed, just saying. Do you know how cute Tiger cubs are?

So, I was like, hey this is a great teaching opportunity.  The funny this is that right before I turned on the TV, Naomi had selected this very book off the shelf.



So, I started pointing and giggling at the cute Tiger cub on the cover of the book and hoped that she would connect the dots between the Tiger cub on TV and the book.  She did.  Babies are smart like that.

During commercial break, I opened the book and showed her the Tiger inside too.   She thought it was awesome and petted the Tiger cub's back.




And then the show came back on and they showed how the cub grew to become a big tiger.  All the while Naomi squealed and pointed and smiled.

And I was like, yup I'm an awesome mom.  Then in my haughty pride I relayed to myself in my mind how great technology is and how we shouldn't be scared to use it as a tool and if we interact with our children, loving and teaching them, we can use these tools for good.  

The end.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March Update

Once upon a time, Princess Naomi had a green piggy bank that was very hungry.  So, Princess Naomi decided to feed him with money she received during birthday/holidays mostly from her grandparents and also loose change that King Daddy gave to her.

Well, green piggy got very full and had tummy ache.  So, King Daddy asked Princess Naomi and Queen Mommy to come to the office so that green piggy could have a detox procedure done...

Okay, this story is getting dumb.  

And then we took Naomi to make her first deposit at one of the Chase branches Hylan covers.

  
 Ready to empty Piggy's belly.

This is very official.

Oh, money.

 I did it, Daddy.  Thanks for my new bank account.  

Naomi's first deposit grand total: $46.08.  I include that detail because I feel like that will buy a candy bar when Naomi is 18.  Guess, we'll have to keep on saving.  ;)

--

So, one day, March 13th to be exact, I realized that Naomi's hair is getting long.  

And it was time... 


 For the back piggy tails!  
Pippi Longstocking in due time.

--

Then there was that awesome green holiday I like to call, St. Patty's Day.  And since I'm in a much happier emotional state this year, I decided to go all out!  Well, cooking all day, that is.

I made Irish Soda Bread.  Of course.  We love that stuff.  I used this recipe this time and it's my favorite, a slightly sweet biscuit taste.  Hylan loved it too.


I also made a Turkey Shepherd's Pie with mashed sweet potatoes but didn't take a picture.  It was actually very tasty and I enjoyed eating it as leftovers the rest of the week.  I didn't use a recipe, but made it with the traditional flavors (ground turkey, onion, flour, chicken stock, s&p, thyme,Worcestershire, tomato paste, peas, carrots, corn, and mashed the sweet potatoes with butter, milk, and salt, and added an egg yolk). 

And dessert had to be special too.  This year:


Truth be told, I didn't love the dessert at first.  Everything in our meal had an element of sweetness, so by the time dessert rolled around, my taste buds were overloaded with too much sweet.

But the next day, that pie was pretty darn good.  It has a layer of chocolate on the bottom sprinkled with pistachios, a layer of pistachio pudding sprinkled with pistachios, pistachio cream sprinkled with pistachios (cool whip and pistachio pudding--easy recipe, folks), and then cool whip on top, with more pistachios as garnish.  

And my little elf baby became a leprechaun for the day.


Speaking of the leprechaun, she finally learned how to walk and her little pitter patters are so very cute.

Funny story:

I was talking to someone in Relief Society (our women's meeting at church) and she asked if Naomi was walking.  I told her, "well she stands and walks around holding on to furniture and sometimes if she gets distracted, she will take a step or hold her stance for a while, but no, not really walking yet."  Well, then a little later in the meeting, Naomi stands up and takes about 3 steps (witnessed by the lady I was talking to about it).  It was awesome!

Then, later after church, Hylan and I took a walk around our neighborhood and started talking to some of our neighbors.  The same lady was there and asked, "so, has Naomi walked some more today?"  And then I was like, "oh, yeah, Hylan I forgot to tell you Naomi took her first real unassisted steps all by her self today."  Ooops.  How did I forget?

Anyway, that was back in early March.

And since I have your attention and since my whole world revolves around my baby, I'll just add that her favorite foods are: bananas! mandarin oranges, Gerber cheese crunchies, scrambled eggs! and cheerios.  But writing that makes it seem like she doesn't like anything else.  Well, this baby will eat pretty much everything if she's hungry and if we're patient in letting her explore new foods.  Sometimes, she just needs a lid or a spoon for distraction, or to see the food in its whole form (hello, gourmet ravioli).

On the subject of food, sometimes I think, man, this girl eats so healthy, I should eat like her.  And then I think, wait, I do eat like her.  Wait, she eats like me!  Ha ha.  And...why do you think she wears so much pink? It's cute how baby girls often reflect the style of their moms until they become more independent.  Did that tangent make sense?  I'm too tired to edit my writing.  Are you still reading my lazy writing?  ha.

I think I've failed at trying to teach Nome sign language, probably because I forget...but she is a charmer with her hello and goodbye waves.  I think we walk around just brightening people's days and that is awesome! And she can still learn, unless the words come sooner.  :)  Dadda, Momma, and Nanna she seems to say and understand.

I'm sure other significant and insignificant stuff occurred in March, but by now you are bored, so until next time.