Friday, January 30, 2009

Not Washing Machine Safe

After Bella’s performance at the doctor’s office my tennis shoes needed more than just a rinse. Ryan was a gem and put them through the wash for me, but they came out really deformed. I’ve put them through the wash before, and this wasn’t one of the side effects. It might be a blessing in disguise. Those shoes were on sale for twenty dollars when I bought them in Puerto Rico two and a half years ago. Running shoes have a recommended life span of six months. Now I spent the remainder of my Christmas gift money on new shoes and a non-knee-pounding workout video. The new shoes are as hideous as their predecessors. I like to keep with tradition.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sweet Potatoes and Stomach Acid Nine Month Check-Up

Bella's nine month check up was scheduled for today. Once we made it into the doctor's office, the nurse had me strip her down for the ceremonial weighing and measuring. As soon as I had her down to the diaper she became a human fountain of vomit, drenching my coat, pants, shoes, sweater and the carpet. When she finally finished the purge we had to use half of the paper towels in the office to clean it up. Being violently ill didn't get her out of the weigh-in or measuring. Here are her stats:

As you can see, Bella's stats are slightly higher than at six months.
Height Percentile +1
Weight Percentile +0
Head Circumpherence ?
I believe she would have hit at least 14 pounds if she hadn't thrown up her last meal, including the sweet potatoes. The doctor concluded that besides the vomit marinating her office carpet, Bella is in good health and is developing perfectly.
This is Bella, sucking down Pedialite as per doctor's orders.
She's still a sweet heart, even when she is really sick.

There is a pro to her tummy ache. She cuddled with me for an hour before taking her second two and a half hour nap of the day.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let the Steelers Win!

This Cardinals towel is draped across our green, second-hand couch. In my opinion, it doesn’t improve the looks of it at all. Ryan put it there as a memento of his trip to the NFL playoffs. I laughed and suggested he put it on his pillow instead. He laughed asked if he could just keep it there until they lost. I remembered Ryan telling me that they hadn’t been to the playoffs for about thirty years or so, and had never been to the Super Bowl in franchise history. I said yes. It would only be another week, right? It’s been two and a half weeks and it’s still there. I’ll be cheering for the Steelers in my heart come Super Bowl Sunday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dancing Queen

Some would say she just lost control of her legs, but we know that she is dancing because she only does it to music.

Ridiculously Long Post- Beware!!!

Well, I must admit I’ve been procrastinating this entry for quite a while. There was so much to write about that the thought of it was daunting. I’m going to do a "quick" rundown of the rest of the stuff we did while we were in Utah, just to have it on record. If I don’t, then I won't ever do it. Now I can move on with my life.

On December 26th and 27th we stayed at the Raddison in SLC with the Harvey’s. The first night there we went to the Jazz game and played games afterward. Bella has acquired, through no effort of her own, her first Jazz outfit. Now every time her dad dresses her he chooses that outfit instead of the “Daddy’s Girl” one. The next day we swam in the pool. This was Bella’s first time in a pool. At first she didn’t like it, but then she got used to it and had a blast. Thanks to Anika for letting her use a little baby swim suit. It was well documented on both my camera and Marlene’s camcorder. That night we suited up Bella in her Fleece Old Navy special and went to see the lights at temple square, beautiful as usual.

We had the good fortune of going to the temple with my parents and little sister. I’m not sure if my favorite part was the actual session we did, or the 20 minutes it took to get there. It sure beats a 7 hour round trip drive. When we were deciding where to eat afterward Ryan was all about Chuck-O-Rama. Although I’d never been there before, we discovered that I had an irrational aversion to the place. I later discovered the dislike was rooted in the “O-Rama” part of the name. It summoned images of ten gallon hats, overbearing mascots and lots of blinking lights. To my relief there were none of the above and I was able to find food that I liked. Afterward we went to my parents house and did a “mini” game night. It turned out that Settlers of Catan is not a short game. I think that was the first time we’ve played games without them getting angry at Ryan’s tactics. That might be because he decided that the game would never end if he didn’t help someone win. We got home at 2:00 AM.

On New Years Eve we partied at the Harvey’s. Said party included a rebroadcast of Celine Dion on channel 7, punctuated by Darren’s commentary on Celine’s moves. The Broken Swan was a favorite. At midnight we broke out the noise makers and then jumped into bed.

Among the other life changing events that happened on New Year’s Day, the Harvey men decided to make a pilgrimage to Phoenix, Arizona, to pay homage to NFL playoffs. As the evening wore on our plans evolved from a trip to Cedar City to visit my grandparents the next day, to Ryan doing a 20 hour round trip drive with the rest of the Harvey men to see the Arizona Cardinals in their first playoff game. This was also the first playoff game that this franchise has seen in 30 years. Fans of many teams were counted among the five person party, the Raiders, 49ers, Broncos, Cowboys, and Buckaneers. None were Cardinals fans, but they just wanted to go to an NFL game. They promised to eat from the McDonald’s dollar menu the whole trip in order for Marlene to grant her approval. She did, which is why I went to Cedar City without my husband or my baby girl. Bella stayed with Marlene who could give her a healthy dose of prunes to soften up her bowls, and keep her happier than I could on a four hour drive.

My trip to Cedar City was memorable. I was able to sit and talk with my grandparents one on one. I think I talked to them more in the day that we were there than I have in my whole life collectively. It was wonderful to learn about them and understand them better. Dad heard Grandma telling me things he had never heard before.

When I got back from Cedar I was well stocked with tidbits about my grandparents. Ryan was still flying high after reaching one of his major life goals—going to an NFL game—and was more than willing to share about the experience.

On Sunday January 4th I went to Grant’s baby blessing and dined on sandwiches and some cookies that violated the word of wisdom. It mentions addictive substances in there doesn’t it? I still need the recipe, Anika. Ryan showed up an hour before we packed up and came home. An Arizona blizzard made it impossible for them to get home before the blessing.

On Monday Amy styled my hair fabulous at the Aveda Salon. It is now much less accessible to tiny fingers, plus it is way cuter. Merry Christmas to me! The guys went to a Jazz game that night, so us girls did a girl's night. We went to Mimi’s CafĂ©, where we found joy in their famous spinach and artichoke dip. After ward we went to a movie and we did it all without kids! Thanks mom for watching Bella.

On Tuesday I used my gift certificate from Ryan and got a full body wrap and polish. It felt soooooo good. And the day just kept getting better. I got to use some of my Christmas gift money to get some new clothes, and Alicia came all the way up from Loa just to shop with me. J/K, I think she would have turned back if I had told her that was my plan.

Wednesday was Darren’s Birthday party. He requested we eat pizza and watch the Jazz game on his new HDTV, which the family was more than happy to do.

On Thursday Alicia came over in the morning and did All Body Attack with me. It was nice to see it kick someone else’s trash. The workout got all my wiggles out as usual, which worked out well for the session we did at the temple with Mark and Marlene that afternoon. If only had gotten my giggles out too. We went to Iggy’s for dinner, and the championship game. We forgot our Oklahoma blanket at home, so we felt a little out of place. Elli covered her ears and scowled at everybody in turn every time the restaurant erupted into yells and cheers. She tried using the commitment pattern with Mark and Ryan to get them to stop. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen Mark refuse a request from Elli. She even said “please.” We played games with my family for the last time that night. Anika brought over a game called "Puerto Rico," which probably would have been longer than Settlers of Catan if Anika didn't leave early and take the game with her.

On our last day in Utah I finally saw some of my old friends! I met Vany and Sabrina in Salt Lake. It was wonderful to see them both doing so well. After a few short hours of chatting we skipped off to the Harvey’s for the going-away party. The Stod’s popped in one last time to see Bella, and got there just in time to paparazzi Bella while she ate her baby food. The festivities ended at about 11:00 when I decided to be responsible and start packing our stuff. We made it to bed by 2:30. We headed to the airport early the next morning. Even without a scale I knew that our bags were about ten pounds over the weight limit, and that’s without the heaping pile of Christmas gifts that wouldn’t fit into our luggage. It’s a good thing Marlene was waiting for us to give her the green light before leaving, and Ryan packed a garbage bag just in case we had to paw through our bags at the check-in counter. We made it to the airplane for the last boarding call. I promised the attendant that Bella, and everybody else on the flight would be happier if they let us take her car seat on the plane with us. She let us. Bella slept the whole flight home and so did we.

Now we are back in windy Kansas. When we got off the plane there weren’t any greeting parties with signs and balloons, but Chris, Ryan’s classmate, was waiting outside in a surprisingly spacious Nissan hatchback.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Night Before Christmas

The Darley annual Christmas party was scheduled for 5:30 at Anika and Jeff's house, but due to reports of a pending winter storm- rumored to hit by 3:00 and bury the bench in two feet of snow- it was changed to Mom and Dad's house. Ryan and I had a special gift ready to give Neal. We drew his name and I was feeling particularly nostalgic after I wrote a story about a present I had given him (in conjunction with Alicia) years ago. I shared the story at our ward relief society party. Ryan and I decided to renact it.

We bought a pair of whitie tighties and a king sized snickers. I mashed up the snickers and placed it inside the underwear with a little note, just like before. This time he laughed instead of storming off to his room. We had another present for him too. This year we got the spirit of giving a little sooner than usual, probably because I wasn't worrying about finals until a week before Christmas, and with that extra bit of time we worked hard to make our gifts meaningful.

Neal recently made a life altering decision at church. He concluded that video games were taking up too much of his time, and thus resolved to sell his XBOX 360, his games and his new flat panel HD tv. When I saw this T-shirt I knew it was fate.
One of my favorite parts about Christmas is singing around the Piano with my mom and sisters.

The Nativity is always the highlight of Christmas Eve. Especially for Dad.

We were just happy to be with the cutest nieces in the world.

On the Sixth Day...

Ryan, Brianna, Bella, my dad, and I decided to brave the elements to go to Cedar City for a visit with my paternal grandparents. As we neared Kaysville we understood that it wasn't the smartest idea to use a Honda Accord as a five passenger sled, but persevered because we also had the responsibility to deliver an anonymous package to our cousins in Orem. By Farmington we changed our minds about being brave and all agreed to try the trip to Cedar City another day and we would turn back after we emptied our hands of the secret present. Never the less, we waded through fresh snow and slush, up hill the whole way, and without shoes, to Orem.

Dad parked around the corner from the culdesac where the Mosses reside. I promised to be as anonymous as possible, but if they happened to see me I was going to use their bathroom. I raced through the knee-deep powder toward the house. My shoes filled with snow and my hair and eyebrows turned white. I looked up as I approached the driveway and screamed. Meagan, my youngest cousin, lurked in the doorway staring straight at me.

After the secret was out they invited us in and played with Bella for a while before we went out into the cold again. We all returned to Layton minus an anonymous package and almost a whole can of mixed nuts. We gained two unexpected days to prepare for Christmas though.

On the Fifth day...

On Sunday we went to the Memorial Park ward we were in for the first year of our marriage. A lot can happen in a Newly-Wed or Nearly-Dead ward within an 8 month absence. All of the pregnant ladies we had left were now carrying around hiccuping bundles of lace and chubs, and there was a new round of friends whispering good news that we weren’t allowed to tell anybody else. I suspect the people who confided in us thought we wouldn’t be likely to divulge their secrets in the remaining thirty minutes we were there. Bella sported her new Christmas dress, see pictures below.
We partied at Amy's house that night to celebrate Chelsea's birthday. Grandma and Grandpa Kennard commuted from Bountiful and were the life of the party. Grandpa told us about the time he lead his marching band in the Rose Bowl Parade. Everybody took turns playing with Bella, and Brad even taught her a few things about football.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On the Fourth Day of Utah

On our fourth day in Utah we went to Salt Lake with my family again to see Savior of the World. I have never seen it before. We got tickets thanks to my Dad, who was willing to go sit around in Salt Lake three hours before the showing to see if we could acquire some tickets that wouldn't be used. We loved it! It helped me to see the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ in a new perspective.

Ryan’s dad came home from his business trip to Arizona. We surprised him at the airport, but we forgot the “welcome home” signs and balloons. He was so excited to see us when he got down the escalator that he went straight to Bella and snatched her out of Marlene’s arms before greeting anyone else.

Mark treated the whole family to dinner in celebration of his return/ Chelsea’s birthday. Our party of 12 took up one of the Olive Garden dining rooms. Reagan, our waitress, had to weave in and out of coats, car seats and booster chairs to give us our food. She shouted to be heard over the conversations and jokes being passed around the table. Darren was kind enough to listen, but I don’t think anyone else noticed she was there.

On the Third Day of Utah...

On our third day there we went to The Nutcracker at Capitol Theater with my mom and dad, Brianna and Anika. Ryan was excited to go, but considered backing out when he thought he was going to be the only guy there. Luckily my Dad came to give him some manly support. They both decided that we should start the tradition of going to the Nutcracker every year, while the guys go to a Jazz game. Brianna observed several moves she was dying to try in her toe-shoes.

On the Second day of Utah...

On our second day in Utah we visited Shaylee, Ellie, Chloe, Anika and Jeff. We met our new nephew Grant Hodson Davis too. He is two and a half months old and roughly the size of Bella. Shay, Ellie and Chloe were just as excited to see Bella as they were the day she was born, although this time Ellie didn’t cry when we wouldn’t let her “borrow” Bella. As for Isabella, she is much more responsive than she was at two weeks old. The girls were delighted that she didn’t just sleep the whole time, even though she wouldn’t hold still long enough for them to hold her. Their favorite game was jumping into Bella’s path and shaking dolls and bracelets in front of her as she cruised around the room. I’m not sure if Bella shared our enthusiasm for this activity. She took a 3.5 hour nap afterward.

We hosted the Dawg Christmas party that night (“Dawg” refers to a group of my husband’s high school friends). Not everybody could make it, but the important ones were there-j/k. The Stods made an appearance. Stoker and Emily came down from Logan. Jordan and Emily (a different Emily) appeared around 10:00 but the party was still going (at our age, after ten o’clock our stamina can be questionable). They brought their first born as well. Emily and I enjoyed terrorizing the other wives with our stories of giving birth, while the guys played Rock Band downstairs. The boys didn’t break the drum pedal this time, but they did bring their own as a precautionary measure.

I didn't document either of these events on my camera, and I didn't find any photos on facebook either. That is why there is a random picture at the top of the post. I figure everyone will be happy as long as Bella is in it, right?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fabulous Utah

On December 17th our welcoming committee waited with helium balloons, posters marked with multicolored messages like, "Welcome back to the promised land," and, "We love you Ryan, Celia and Bella." They blended in with several families jockeying for the best view of the Salt Lake City airport escalators.

The others were waiting for their young men and women adorned with faded name tags and scuffy shoes. One by one they came. After much hugging, kissing, and crying the groups left the stone floor. Finally they Harvey's were the last family waiting.

Half an hour after our scheduled arrival, we stepped onto the escalator. Our eyes were baggy after the 5:00 AM departure for the airport, no naps, and two seats next to the only bathroom on our mini-airplane. My makeup had long-since worn off, and Bella was stripped to her onesie. Ryan lugged the car seat, the diaper bag, the carry-on luggage and his backpack. I balanced bella on my hip with one arm, held bella's dress, socks, shoes and bow in the other. Draped on my other arm were 4 of Bella's blankets, my coat and my scarf.

After they spotted us they waved the signs and yelled greetings from the bottom. I waved Bella's hand at them and tried to dress Bella with the other-without letting my cargo fall. Many hugs, kisses and smiles later we ended play-time-with-Bella-on-the-airport-floor. We packed our bags and families into the cars and headed to lunch. Ryan lobbied for Red Robin because in Kansas their menu had different names, like a foreign language. He ordered fry sauce with his bottomless fries. We were spared a five minute discussion we had in Kansas with the waiter before discovering that it was called, "Tangy Campfire Sauce," outside of Utah.

That evening we joined my parents at Brianna's eighth grade Christmas choir concert. North Layton Junior High has changed a lot since my 2.5 year stint there. The orange and black has been replaced with teal (yes, the color of gangrene). The old stone floor in the commons area changed to teal carpet and littered with benches and tables. The singing was pretty good for a junior high. I've heard far worse at high school choir concerts. After the concert we went back to the Darley's for some of Dad's famous brownies. I'm not sure if they are famous outside of our family, but they should be. Bella had a blast getting acquainted with her grandparents and aunts and uncles.
Thus it was on our first day back in Utah. I will be posting snipets of some of the highlights of our trip as I get around to it. I am rediscovering how hard it is to get anything done without a group of enthusiastic in-laws at Bella's disposal.