Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Peeeeease, Daddad?

On Sunday, Alena decided that she wanted some chips. So she asked for some...

"Peeeeeease, daddad? Wat shcheeeps!"


Me: "Ok, Lena, you can have some chips... here you go..."

Alena: "Mmmmmm...."

Alena: "Oh nooooooo!!!" (starts crying)

Me: (to myself) CRAP! Not another black eye!!

Alena: "Mon-ti! Oh no! Monti!"

Alena: "Daddad, Mon-ti no wat shcheeps."
(Disclaimer: As these pictures were all taken post-dumpum, some pictures may have been deliberately misrepresented with regards to the overall timeline of events.)

What I saw when I got home...

Lena playing...

Oliver "Playing"...

...and Mummy playing too...

We love our new piano. It keeps everybody happy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yay, Money!

Today, I got a check in the mail from our dentists office. They had overcharged us on my last visit by $62. Awesome! Gap sale/New pair of shoes here I come!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Shiner in the Night

Last night Lena had an accident. She was supposed to be in bed, but for some reason had decided that she was going to play with her xylophone alligator. Evan heard her tinkering away in her room (I was chatting to our next-door neighbors) when suddenly he heard a huge thud followed by Lena's "Help me I'm dying/really really hurt!" cry... the one that is usually reserved for when she launches herself off a slide to find that she can't fly and now has a mouth full of blood. Perplexed as to what on earth she could have done to hurt herself that badly whilst playing with her xylophone, Evan ran into her room to find her curled up on the floor with a huge bleeding gash on her eye, screaming (of course). We still don't know what she hit her face on, and she was obviously in no fit state to tell us what gave her a boo-boo. She was so inconsolable, in fact, that Evan had to come and find me to get her to calm down, although I'm not sure if that was to do with the fact that she needed her mummy or the fact that she didn't like that daddy was putting an ice pack on her face.

Naturally I took pictures. This one was about 30 minutes after the fact.

Lena was pretty delicate for the rest of the night. Her various demands ranged from having mum or dad hold her head their hand to insisting on holding as many comfort-cuddlies (blanket, monkey, another blanket, drink...) as she possibly could. We gave her Tylenol, we cuddled her in her bed, we put Neosporin on her eye (more to protect her cut from the the salt in her tears), we cuddled her more, we helped her try to sleep after she woke up (a few times) because her eye hurt... we basically babied her and gave her everything she wanted, and anything she needed. Poor kid.

This morning, her eye had swelled up and purpled quite nicely - I took more pictures to share with all of you.

So far she has made no indication to us that it hurts more than she can handle, which is a good thing. I think she will be fine; she is just going to have a fat eye for a few days.

... It won't be long now before she is giving shiners to Oliver!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Piano Update

It will be here Friday, folks!! I can't express to you how excited I am!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Making My Voice Heard

Our family trip to New Zealand this May was fantastic. I was able to see my family, Evan and Lena were able to meet their family, we tripped around, saw some sights, ate awesome food, watched rugby games, ate more food... it was great. But it seems that our trip was good for one more reason: it made me eligible to vote in the upcoming NZ general elections!

Since turning eighteen I have only been able to vote once. I voted for the Conservative Party in the last UK general elections in 2005. Sadly, Labour got in again, no thanks to Scotland, which meant that the world was subjected to Tony Blair again. (Thank goodness that ended early, but what an even sadder day for humanity when Gordon Brown took over. UGH!) Then the following year I got married, moved here permanently, and relinquished my voting rights. Now, this doesn't both me so much right now... even if I could vote in three weeks I don't know that I would: I am incredibly underwhelmed by both Obama and McCain. I think both are horrendously under-qualified and both will be a disaster. And I do not believe that either one is the lesser of two evils. I think Obama is a moderately eloquent public speaker (but that is about it), and I think McCain is just a nasty old man who only wants to be president to satisfy his own ego. (And, I swear, if McCain says "my friends" once more I am going to vomit. Anyone else being reminded of the Soviet Era "comrades" speak when he says that??)

However, I feel quite differently about the situation in New Zealand. I have spent the majority of my life living outside of NZ, but I was raised as a dyed-in-the-wool Kiwi, and have an emotional investment in my country. I personally feel that the party that is currently running NZ has been awful (Labour, again... notice a pattern?). They have allowed political correctness to run rampant, and I feel that they have given a disproportionate voice to minority groups - and I say that being part of one of those minority groups. They are eroding away at the things that make NZ, NZ, and it was quite sad for me to see that in all of its awfulness, and ridiculousness, on our trip. Needless to say, it was a welcome surprise for me to find out last week that I was eligible to vote, and have a voice for change in a place that I care so much about. With any luck, things will get cleaned up, and our kids might thank us some day for electing to give them dual citizenship.

And, since we are talking about voting... I just have a few things to say about Proposition 8 in California. Today we received and email from our Stake Presidency via our Bishopric reminding all the CA residents to register as an absentee and vote yes on Prop. 8. (As a bit of background info, Evan took an American Heritage class this summer, and one of the essays he chose to write about was about same-sex marriage. I helped out with research, and, needless to say, I feel reasonably well-read on both sides of the subject now.) If I could vote here, I would probably vote for Proposition 8. I am more for it than against it, and if we want to get technical, marriage isn't mentioned in the Constitution, and, therefore, is not technically a right. However, it is a bit of a gray area for me... I wish there was an in between vote. I am opposed to same-sex marriage, but I am of the opinion that an amendment to any constitution that specifies marriage is wrong. As I understand it, marriage is primarily a religious institution, and a privilege that just so happens to have social and state benefits attached to it. It can remain an "exclusive club" that has prerequisites to it because it isn't technically a civil right. As I also understand it, the constitution, any constitution, cannot discriminate against any individual or group of individuals. Now here are my (probably flawed, for those of you who are going to get on my case about it) problems with Proposition 8. By making marriage a part of the constitution through an amendment it makes marriage a civil right, just by virtue of the fact that it is mentioned. It no longer becomes the privilege with qualifying criteria that it should be. Issue #1. Issue #2 is that by stating that marriage is between a man and a woman it excludes same-sex couples, and all other 'non-typical' relationships, from the now civil right that they should now technically be entitled to. Which leaves me in a difficult spot, because whilst I do believe same-sex marriage is wrong, I also do not agree with the way that either side has gone about proposing their solutions. Just as well I can't vote, huh?

Which brings me back to the point I was trying to make earlier... I don't know that I am terribly comfortable with the role that the Church has been playing in all of this. Once again, I agree that marriage should be between a man and a woman, I am just very much of the opinion that religious institutions should not telling people which way they should vote. The email we received today, I am sure, was well intentioned, but nevertheless, it left me feeling more than a little irritated that it was more of an instruction than a kind reminder of the values of the church, the sanctity of marriage, and unbiased information on the proposition so we could make up our own minds. (And for goodness sake, we are college students, not Neanderthals, and should be capable of thinking for ourselves and making educated decisions). Not only that, but frankly, we are in Utah, not California. I don't believe it is the responsibility of our local stake presidency to bring to attention issues in another state. If you are a CA resident at BYU there is a high probability that you have family members and friends and LDS contacts in CA. It is their responsibility to remind you to register to vote, and to pass along information. Not only that, but I am incredibly uncomfortable with the Church's public support of an amendment that I think is unconstitutional. I am uncomfortable with our Church's public support of any political issue, for that matter. It would have been one thing to bring out a public statement reminding people of the position we hold as Latter-Day Saints with regards to marriage, which has been done, but I personally feel it is not the responsibility of the Church to align themselves with one side or another.

Anyway, like I said, it is probably a good thing I can't vote here. But I am glad that my voice will be heard somewhere.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Mum

I miss my Mum. She went back home last Saturday after being here for three weeks, and it was so wonderful to have her here. She cleaned our house (and insisted that she enjoyed doing it), did our laundry, picked up after Lena, cooked us food, looked after Lena so I could sleep, looked after Oliver so I could stay sane, made sure both kids had ample bathtime, changed nappies (diapers)... I love my Mum! She is amazing, and I miss having her around! There is no-one like your Mum to make sure you are taken care of!

We also had the opportunity to attend a session of conference while she was here. Mum had never been before and my previous experience there 5 years ago had been somewhat lackluster due to some irritatingly distracting sparkly necklaces that the women in the Tab Choir were wearing. It was really nice to not only be able to go with my Mum, but to actually listen to the talks.

I am also really glad that my kids got to spend some time with their Grandma. Oliver won't remember anything, but Lena hopefully will remember enough that she will remember Grandma the next time she sees her. And I am also glad that my Mum got to spend time with her Grandbabies. I wish we could live close enough that she could see them more regularly and not miss out on so much. Maybe one day...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It Is Always Refreshing When...

...People go out of their way to do things that they really don't need to.

The kids and I have had a cold since about Sunday and poor little Oliver is struggling with it a bit. We took him in for a well-baby check up on Tuesday, and the doctor wasn't concerned but told us to check back in if he got any worse. He didn't. However, today I got a call from the doctor (well, her nurse) saying that Dr. Sheffield wanted to check in to see how Oliver was doing, and wanted to know if I had any concerns.

Thank you, Dr. Sheffield, for being thoughtful. It is so nice to have a doctor that cares about her patients, especially after the multitude of poor experiences we have had at the SHC. We will keep you around.

Pi-a, Pi-a, Pi-a-no!

I am so excited. In two weeks we will be welcoming a new addition to our family: a brand new Kawai K2 as a belated wedding present from my parents.

(For those of you who don't know, yes, it has been over two years since I got married; no, my parents have not been withholding their gift from me; and yes, they were happy that Evan and I got hitched. Plus, not only did Evan and I not have room in our first few places that we lived in, we knew we could be moving around a lot, and a piano can be quite the moving burden.)

I am pretty happy with my choice. I had been debating a long time over a couple of models, one of which was a very nice used Yamaha U3, which, as you piano aficionados out there will know, is an excellent piano. However, for all of its excellence it was just too big for our apartment. (My Mum said that if it had have been her she would have gotten rid of our couch to make room. Sadly, we need the seating, and for all of its ugliness, it actually is a comfortable couch). So, our K-2, being quite a bit smaller will just about fit. The nice thing is though that even though the K2 is on the small side it has a much fuller sound than its size would suggest, although not so big that it will overwhelm our entire apartment complex. Neighbors, you can thank me later.

I am so excited for having a good piano (any piano, really) around that I can use whenever I so please. I am looking forward to improving my somewhat lacking piano skills (To all of my neighbors: I apologize in advance) and I am really excited at the prospect of being able to instill a love of music in my children in the way that my Mum did for me and my sisters.

I will let you know when it finally arrives!