Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Harv-Dawg Chimes In

Reading my wife’s entry every week, I just had to get involved. I know that I do not possess near the writing ability that she does, therefore I will be sticking to the numbers. I am going to post the goals that we have made both individually and as a family and update them each week. The purpose of this is not to brag. Rather, it is to motivate Cecilia and me! If we know that we are going to report what we have done, then we will try much harder.

For the benefit of those who, like me, did not fully understand my wife’s entry, I will not be using words like “dearth” and “diatribe.” Rather, I will try to keep the attention of those “numbers” people out there.

Please let me know if you like it or if you would just rather have Cecilia doing the blog.

Here is the list of goals that we have made since arriving in Kansas. Each week I will post our results:
1. We each want to lose 35 pounds. I started at 198 and my wife started at a different weight. We both ate out of control during my wife’s pregnancy and we wanted to trim down and look good for our pool party this December in Utah.
Ryan –14 pounds lost – current weight = 184
Cecilia – 10 pounds lost – current weight = yeah right, I’m not that stupid!

2. Morning & Evening Prayer & Scripture Study – We have had problems in the past of always studying our scriptures together and saying morning and evening prayers together. We now are virtually 100% with our companionship study and prayer at night, but we can’t seem to get in the habit of praying every morning.
Morning Prayer – last week I think we only said our morning prayers 4 out of the 7 days together.
Scripture Study & night prayer – We were a perfect 7 out of 7

3. Tennis - as you know we have started a new sport. We will post how many consecutive hits we got each week
Last week - 35

4. Exercise – Cecilia got a new workout video called body attack. I am on a quest to beat my sister Chelsea in a 5K (3.1 miles) this December. We ran one on Memorial Day and she beat me by 3 ½ minutes. My time was 24:30.
Cecilia – She did the entire workout video (intro, workout, core, & cool down). That is good considering when she first started she barely got halfway through.
Ryan – I ran 31 miles this week (28 on the elliptical). My 3 mile time was 20:37. I was excited that I was catching up to Chelsea until she told me that she ran 7 miles in 45 minutes (I think she was lying).

5. Stay-at-home-Mom – Last week for F.H.E. we read Elder Ballard’s talk from this last conference. We decided that Cecilia needs to develop her talents while she stays at home. She is going to start writing and entering her work into competitions. Also, I said that I would give her at least one night a week for her leave the house by herself to be away from Bella.
Last Week – She started a story about her dad. She is very excited about it!

6. Missionary work – Two weeks ago we had a F.H.E. lesson about missionary work and we practiced how we can approach those we come in contact with about the gospel.
Since then - We talked to two of our neighbors about the gospel and Cecilia gave a pass along card to a stranger at Wal-Mart who was about to have a baby. As she mentioned last week she also did splits with the missionaries.

Sorry that this is so long. I had to make this entry longer because I had to explain the goals. They should be shorter in the future. Again, please let me know if this is any good or if I should leave the blog to the writing expert.

Monday, July 28, 2008

July Ending

Hey Everybody,

Our week was filled with as much adventure as Kansas is allowed to provide. We finally decided that it is time to say good-bye to our defunct computer. A graduate student should have a PC that is at least capable of word processing. Nothing inspires writer’s block like a system crash every sentence or two.

On Sunday Celia said the opening prayer in sacrament meeting. Ryan says we need to practice praying in English at home and we aren’t supposed to call God “you.” Her Spanish has been getting pretty shady of late as well. We would wonder if God can understand her, except he always answers her prayers. Ryan said the closing prayer, and did so in fluent English.

Isabella rebelled against naps. Celia almost used Bella’s middle name a few times. She rolls onto her tummy as she wiggles herself to sleep, then wakes up because she’s on her stomach. She hasn’t re-mastered the art of flipping onto her back. Here's proof. A couple in the ward gave us a bassinet so that we could use our front room when she is sleeping. After her growth spurt last week she is tall enough to smash her head into the side of the bassinet, which isn’t conducive to sleeping either. She just scoots in a 90 degree angle and pushes on the bassinet side with her legs. Believe it or not...she's asleep.

Ryan is now 20% done with his MPA classes. He doesn’t start his next class until the end of August. Meanwhile he daydreams of the “Redeem Team” and salivates every time he sees a commercial for the Olympics. 8.8.08

We made another pilgrimage to the temple in Winter Quarters. Ryan had a much more interesting shift than I did. Bella slept the whole time he was gone. Ryan almost ran out of diapers while I was in my session. Luckily we packed about 3 times as many wet wipes as we did last time. Ryan is going to start bringing spare clothes as well. She's worth it.

After going to the temple we pondered upon the essentiality of work. We think it builds character. Mark Twain’s unveiled diatribe about the despotic aristocracy in, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, has some good points about the results of a few families holding so much power over the voiceless masses. More than usually they turn out to be tyrants. We wonder if the dearth of “King Benjamins” throughout the royal pedigrees could be due to the effects of too much power coupled with no work. If you have any thoughts on this, we’d love to hear them.

We love you and miss you all!

Love Ryan, Celia and Bella

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Week of Firsts

Ryan got an A in his first class. He still has two days left of his second class and just broke the seal on his text book. He needed to use it for a paper he was writing. Despite his aversion to reading, Ryan has now suggested that we read books together. Maybe he has repented. He has sworn off TV, Japanese game shows and all. We will better our minds with the likes of Mark Twain and George Orwell.

To kick off the grand opening of the Harvey read-a-thon, we walked to the Watson Library which holds KU’s humanities collection. It is the most wonderful building in the world, short of the temple. Books, books and books fill every corner of its magnificent edifice. I would have taken home more than two of them, too, except it took us almost two hours to find them.

Tennis is another unexpected side effect of not watching TV. We debuted on Friday afternoon, not to be thwarted by 87% humidity, a fussy baby, rain and a hamstring injury. Our record longest volley (can you say that in tennis?) was 31 straight hits. Too bad we didn’t try this sooner. We might have tried for the Olympics.

The best thing about libraries and tennis rentals at KU is that they are free. Ryan was just informed that tuition has been raised by almost 500 dollars per semester. Ryan has just accepted his first ever school loan. We both almost cried. Our budget spreadsheet will need considerable tweaking.

Bella enjoyed her first trip to the park, as evident in the picture above.

This was Celia and Bella’s first of many outings with the 1st and 2nd ward play group. We hung out in the park as we waited for the scheduled reservation of the wading pool. We met an eleven year old boy who informed us, as Elissa passed out peanut-butter-waffle sandwiches to her children, that he was “really hungry,” even though his friend had given him two bags of Cheetos and once he had eaten six bananas.

Bella enjoyed the pool, but might have liked it more if she could have gotten in the water. Wal-mart doesn’t sell swimming diapers for 8-9 pound babies, and they pull their baby swimming suits off the racks in June. She had fun with mommy in the shade, chatting with the other moms, and watching a two year old boy eat melted nerds off of his chest and the cement.

On Saturday morning we all cleaned the church together. Ryan cleaned the mirrors. Celia cleaned the sinks and Bella provided entertainment for all girls under the age of ten. Celia received an update every three minutes about whether Bella was smiling or not.

Bella celebrated her 3 month birthday yesterday. She had just gotten the hang of sleeping in her crib. She went for 11 hours on Saturday night! Yesterday she started rolling from back to tummy. Now she wakes up on her tummy in the middle of the night and can’t flip back over. If she hadn’t put on three pounds in the past two and a half months she would most likely still be able to.

Celia went out with the sister missionaries last Sunday. In normal missionary fashion, we couldn’t find anyone to teach. The closest we came to giving a lesson was with a large group of inebriated Latinos. In their state they probably didn’t notice her dysfunctional use of the subjunctive, much less understood the most important message that God has given us within the last two centuries (and more if you count the apostasy).

Well we’ll tell you more about our fascinating lives next week. We love you all!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Isabella phenomenon

This slide show is bound to be an instant hit among Bella fans. I have sifted through numberless pictures of our baby girl and here are some of the favorites. Now you can see her grow up. Enjoy!

Ryan, Celia and Bella

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pictures! Yay!

We thought you might want to see pictures of our last escapades in Utah and the people we love. If you didn't make the slide show...we still love you. You just aren't photogenic enough. Just kidding.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back and Better than Ever!

Ryan: has discovered that hitchhiking is more effective if you don’t use your thumb. You can stand there until it falls off as the cars speed by with the passenger’s noses pressed against the windows. Instead let your arms hang to your sides and walk along the road with your head sagging to your chest. That’s when an old lady will stop to give you a ride. He also decided that we need to be more attentive to the state of the tires, or maybe even get a spare, since Celia has no way to pick him up and our parents would have to take a week off of work to come help in case of a mishap.

On Saturday night Ryan enjoyed two and a half hours of Beauty and the Beast performed in an outdoor amphitheater. The beanbag chair was almost flat by the time it was over. He was surprised by the number of songs they managed to add to the original soundtrack, and how loud they could get at the end of each one.

Yesterday night Ryan had a juvenile relapse and forgot that it isn’t a good idea to throw things at glass light fixtures. Celia ran with Bella into the other room to escape glass shower. Ryan took the blanket off our bed so we wouldn’t get stuck by tiny shards of glass every time we moved in the night.

Bella: is back to getting up a couple times a night because an evil gremlin lives in her crib and wakes her up. Despite the sleep deprivation she smiles like its Christmas every time she sees Mommy or Daddy coming to her rescue.

Bella’s been sporting a baggier diaper lately. Her parents don’t want her to look like a thug, but it has more cargo space than the newborn diapers. Bella hasn’t made any messes since that discovery.

Although Isabella looks like her daddy, she did inherit a couple things besides tongue sucking from her mom. Her eyes are getting flecks of brown in them which will go well with her auburn hair. And....

Can you see the family resemblance?

Celia: found out that she has been doing this “homemaking” thing wrong. According to the prestigious “Tyra Banks Show,” stay at home moms sit around eating bon-bons and taking trips to the park all day.

On Saturday Ryan convinced Celia to put down the bon-bons and go running for the first time in about a year. Even though there was just one hill, three miles was overload for her haggard body. Next time she’ll need a pacemaker.

Celia has decided that the templates provided for bloggers cramp her style, and the only way to overcome that drudgery is to tweak the html and css code. She’s been flicking through html tutorials all week. When she lays her head down at night spooky images like this creep into her head;

body {
font:x-small Georgia Serif;
font-size/* */:/**/small;
font-size: /**/small;
text-align: center;

Ryan says she has started mumbling to herself, avoids eye contact and has asked for a pocket protector. After suffering the effects of html and css cramming she discovered that wordpress (the blog domain) will only let you edit the code if make one low payment of 24.95 a year. Our new blog is at ryanandcecilia.blogspot.com.

We love you all!

Ryan, Celia and Bella

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 4th of July

The closest temple to Lawrence Kansas is three and a half hours away at Winter Quarters (now known as Omaha) Nebraska. We don’t have a babysitter. A session takes two hours including changing time. Feeding Bella takes a minimum of half an hour, and she likes to eat every 2 ½ hours. All of these factors combined add up to a twelve hour temple trip. I guess that’s better than those who have to travel two weeks in a rusty bus through uncivilized terrain to get to the temple. At least we had a car and a paved road.

Bella wanted to commemorate our first trip to the temple since moving to Kansas. She saved up for three days, and then let her surprise out ten minutes before Ryan was supposed to go to his session. It oozed out of her diaper onto her outfit, and her blankets before we could wrestle her free from the car seat. We underestimated how many wet wipes we should keep in the diaper bag.

Isabella now weighs in at 8 pounds 1 ounce, maintaining her place in the 1st percentile for weight among girls her age. At ten weeks she is fitting into her newborn clothes with room to spare, but she is growing fine, according to the doctor. In fact, the doctor was impressed with her ability to squirm around in circles. The doctor also said Bella has graduated from car seat sleeping, and needs to be in a crib now. A baby needs room to squirm in her sleep. Bella disagrees.

At the end of the appointment the nurse traumatized Cecilia by making her hold Bella down while she gave her THREE vaccinations. Isabella’s cooing and smiles changed to wide eyed terror and screams as the nurse drove three inch needles (I swear!) all the way through her tiny legs. She was still moaning fifteen minutes later as she ate her second lunch.

Isabella’s shiny new crib now stands in the corner of our front room. Although it’s been up for several days it’s still as good as new. Isabella won’t sleep in it. She screams with surprising enthusiasm until we put her in the car seat. In there, she will sleep for up to ten hours. Celia isn’t sure she is ready to give up the car seat either.

On Tuesday July 2nd Ryan turned 23 years old. His wife made lasagna from the Wal-Mart frozen foods section, and gave him a personally handcrafted birthday card. Bella wore an “I love Daddy” onesie.

The 4th of July is a serious affair here in Lawrence. Most stores close for the holiday. The campus is closed all weekend. The closure of KU frustrated Ryan’s last minute homework habit. A few hours before the midnight deadline, he realized he didn’t have any way to e-mail his paper to his professor. Ryan did what any aspiring city manager would do. He committed a federal crime on the 4th of July by slipping it into his professor’s home mailbox. Don’t tell the post master.

We don’t have to go far to find the luxury of a sauna. Our apartment is the local hotspot. Cooking a casserole and mashed potatoes on the hottest day of the year is not advisable. Cecilia may have dripped an extra ingredient into the dinner, but since it was her first time making a casserole we aren’t sure if it altered the flavor. Ryan liked it anyway. At least that’s what he said.

Casseroles aren’t the only menu items recently added to Celia’s cooking repertoire. This week she also grilled marinated steak for the first time (Happy 4th of July), and made meatloaf (No grubs were harmed in the making). For the first time since we’ve been married, leftovers are accumulating faster than we can eat them.

Celia has also discovered a new store. A store that holds a quarter as collateral in order to use their shopping carts is pretty intimidating. I needed a guided tour by a friend with experience shopping there before getting started. They don’t provide bags for your purchases, but the savings are oh, so worth it.

After several weeks of being 1 of 4 families with a child at the university ward, we decided we should act our age and go to the family ward. We went to the 1st ward for one week. The bishop informed us that we are supposed to go to the 2nd ward, but not before we had already signed up to clean the building and feed the missionaries. In our new ward Ryan has to be on his best behavior. The director of his program and one of his professors are there.

She finally went to sleep in her Crib!