Friday, February 29, 2008

Tummy time battle: D vs. D

It was a tough call, but the ref awarded Dean the victory! Bite trumps peck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

4 months and a little to grow on

We just got home from Dean's 4 month check up. Technically he is 4 1/2 months today. Here are his most recent stats:

Weight at birth: 8 lbs. 6 oz.
Length at birth: 21 3/4 inches

Weight at 2 mo.: 13 lbs. 10 oz.
Length at 2 mo.: 24 1/2 inches (77%)

Weight at 4 mo.: 15 lbs. 14 oz. (65%)
Length at 4 mo.: 27 in. (actually, just slightly under 27) (90%)
Head circumference: 16.5 in. (36%)

So, overall things are looking quite good in terms of his growth. She said his head is a little flat on the right side since he favors it. She told us that last time so we tried to increase the time on his tummy, in his bumbo, and use positioners when napping, but apparently it wasn't enough to overcome it completely. I barely notice it's a little flatter than the other side, and I think I mainly notice since more hair has been rubbed off there. She said she'll talk to us about using a helmet if it's still flat at the 6 mo. mark. I told her we'd probably skip the whole helmet thing since it's purely aesthetic. I don't think it's that noticeable, and who has a perfectly symmetrical head anyway? She said, "Just make sure you have total resolve that you want to do that since after 9 mo. you can't reshape the head."

(He's wearing an old sweat suit of his daddy's in this picture)

Also, she said, "He has bad cradle cap." Can I just tell you that it is probably 1000 times better than it was the last time we went in? We've been washing his hair in selsun blue and I've peeled a lot of the dry skin scale patches off. Unfortunately it took with it some of his hair, so he has an old man comb over look. Now I would say he has a mild case of cradle cap and has some exema on his forehead. We're going to try Cortaid and see if it helps without making him break out in a bad rash. Originally I thought it was dry skin, so I've tried baby lotion, hypoallergenic adult lotion, Vaseline, baby oil, and lanolin, and all have given him a bad raised rash. The adult lotion actually gave him white bumps as well as red.

The other concern was with his first set of blood work (the stuff done in the hospital at birth). Apparently it's taken 4 months for them to get her the results. She said he might have the Alpha Thalassemia trait. She said his second blood test didn't show that, so he might not have it. We may have to do additional blood work. Something I found online said, "In this condition 2 of the 4 alpha globin genes are missing or defective. Patients with this have smaller blood cells and mild anemia, though they experience no symptoms." The only real problem from this would arise when he is married and having children. If his wife also is a carrier, their children have a 25% chance of having Hemoglobin H disease (resulting in an enlarged spleen, fatigue or bone deformities) or 25% chance of Alpha Thalassemia Major (which would require lifelong blood transfusions). So, hopefully he doesn't have it...

In happier news, he is learning to roll around. He hasn't flipped from front to back or visa versa on his own yet, but he's gotten pretty close. He's also become enamored with holding his feet the last few days. His hands are really cute when he interlocks his little fingers.

She doesn't think he's really teething. She said he could do all the pre-teething slobber and chewing up to 10 months without a tooth breaking through. What I thought were teeth bumps on his gums she said were "pearls". Honestly I'm a little skeptical of Dr.s I'm not saying I know more than them, I just don't think they know everything, especially if it's not their "specialty". I'm not totally convinced of her knowledge on this, but I'll keep watching.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mr. Bubbles

I have to say that I really, really, really enjoy being a mom. I love that I get to stay home with Dean. He cracks me up all the time. I think his first phrase might just be, "That's so funny." or "You think you're so funny."

I find that I often call him, "Mr. [whatever he is doing at the moment]". Maybe this comes from my love of the Little Mr. and Miss books. Speaking of which, has anyone else seen the ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE Little Mr. shirts at Target? I think they have Mr. Happy, Mr. Grumpy, Mr. Mischief, and Mr. Funny. I keep watching for them to go on sale. They're like $8 a piece normally, and I barely pay that for my own shirts. But BOY are they cute!

Here are a few pictures of Mr. Bubbles.

Svithe: Lessons learned

Today I taught my first lesson in Relief Society. I'm technically the 3rd Sunday teacher, but our Stake Conference two weeks ago threw off the schedule. I was all excited when I got my calling; I read last week's lesson pretty much every day from when I found out I was teaching until a few days prior to the lesson. Then I got the call that I needed to teach today instead because of the Stake Conference mix up. That was fine with me because it gave me something else to study with "eyes of understanding. " I read the scriptures and talks differently when I know I will be accountable for my knowledge of a subject when I teach. Too bad I don't do that all the time.

It was weird having totally prepared a lesson and then listening to someone else's version of the same lesson. Last week's lesson couldn't have been more different than the one I prepared, even if we had tried. She spoke almost the entire time on a section I would have given only 1-2 min., but that's the beauty of the gospel. We are touched by different things.

This week's lesson touched on some fairly heavy gospel doctrine. It was based on Elder Holland's talk from the October General Conference. It talked why many Christian sects don't consider us Christian, and explained where our beliefs on the Godhead originate. It's a great read for anyone interested (just click the link above). Here are a few things that stuck out to me while preparing.

Trinity vs. Godhead
Trinitarians believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all one substance/being and was solidified as "Church Doctrine" (i.e. Catholic) when Constantine called a conference in 325 AD with all the "big wigs" of church and state. As Holland explained, "[The Nicene and other creeds] declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract, absolute, transcendent, immanent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time."

Honestly, I was quite surprised, when I started doing some research, at how few Christian religions don't accept the Trinity as church doctrine. I really thought that Protestants didn't, but I was wrong. Apparently it's mainly we (members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--a.k.a. Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, and Unitarians who diverge from that notion. Most Christians believe us to be heretical and un-Christian because of it.

We don't believe in the concept or definition of the "Trinity in Unity", however, we do believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (a.k.a the Godhead). Holland sums it up nicely when he says,
"Our first and foremost article of faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 'We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.' We believe these three divine persons constituting a single Godhead are united in purpose, in manner, in testimony, in mission. We believe Them to be filled with the same godly sense of mercy and love, justice and grace, patience, forgiveness, and redemption. I think it is accurate to say we believe They are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance, a Trinitarian notion never set forth in the scriptures because it is not true."

In his talk he gives examples from the New Testament to support our belief in their separateness of being.

Honestly, the majority of my lesson comes straight from the talk, so here's what we additionally talked about.

1. It is important to understand the true nature of the Godhead because
  • God has commanded us as church members "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:18-21). Are we supposed to also become of one substance with the Father? No, of course not. We are supposed to be "of one heart and one mind and dwell in righteousness." (Moses 7:18) When we do that, we become one with God's will and will come to know Him more fully.
  • concerning our marriages he said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2:24)
  • "this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
2. We can strive for unity in the church by
  • sustaining and supporting church leadership.
  • paying tithing and fast offerings so that no one is lacking.
  • serving those who are in need.
  • abstaining from harsh words or criticism. In the same vein, avoid taking offense whether or not it is intended. Forgive
  • cultivating charity.
3. We can strive for unity in our homes by
  • going to the temple.
  • reading our scriptures, both individually and as a family.
  • praying individually, as a couple, and as a family.
  • communicating clearly, honestly, and kindly.
  • humbling ourselves and letting go of our pride and stubbornness.
  • serving and supporting each other both in the priesthood and in the home.
  • cultivating charity.
4. The Spirit of the Lord is a member of the Godhead we can invite into our families and marriages; He will guide us in our quest to understanding and becoming One, like the Godhead is One. We invite the spirit in our homes by
  • disallowing bad things (pornography, bad movies/tv/music, immodest clothing, contention, swearing, alcohol, etc.)
  • promoting good and wholesome recreation, dress, talk, word of wisdom, etc.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tens for Jacqui

Name 10 things in each category that you use daily and/or love:

In Your Fridge/Kitchen:
  1. Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese
  2. Sour Cream
  3. Guerrero Flour Tortillas
  4. Cannery Dehydrated Refried Beans (we have 5 years worth since they were going to discontinue it!! There was such a backlash [not the right word, but can't think of a better one] that they decided to bring it back.)
  5. Broccoli (this is unfortunate since it makes Dean's stomach upset)
  6. Fresh Garlic-I use it in almost everything
  7. Instant read digital thermometer--AN ABSOLUTE MUST!!!!!
  8. Pro S series of Henkel knives -- awesome and I have a full set now (it took 5 years!) minus the cleaver!
  9. Isagenix Chocolate shake
  10. Rice cooker
In your bathroom:
  1. Garnier Fructis Shampoo and Conditioner
  2. Skintimate shave gel-raspberry rain
  3. Charmin toilet paper (though I liked it much better when it was just regular old Charmin and not this Utra stuff.)
  4. Pantene hard wax for hair
  5. Suave mousse
  6. Garnier Fructis hairspray
  7. Blow drier/diffuser
  8. Flat Iron
  9. Matches
  10. Squeegee for my glass enclosed shower

In your house:

  1. Our two computers (his and hers)
  2. Scanner
  3. Kodak Digital Camera - it does the job
  4. Space heaters
  5. Toyota Rav 4 (It's great guys! I love almost everything about it)
  6. Upright Grand Piano
  7. Reebok running shoes
  8. Yankee/Cavalry Candles
  9. Nalgene water bottle
  10. Aero bed (don't use it daily, but it's GREAT for company!)

On your bedside table:

  1. Mormon Doctrine
  2. D &C institute manual
  3. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
  4. Scriptures
  5. Ensign
  6. Joseph Smith manual
  7. Kleenex
  8. Chapsitck
  9. Atomic Clock
  10. marking pens and pencils

With the kids:

  1. Huggies cuddleweave size 2 (I currently have the snug and dry and don't like them nearly as much, so I'll be switching back)
  2. Changing table
  3. HoMedics sound spa (white noise machine)
  4. Stroller/car seat Travel System- mine isn't the top of the line, but it works well enough.
  5. Wrapping blankets made by Grandma Brasfield
  6. Cloth diapers used as burp cloths
  7. Kirkland wipes
  8. Bumbo seat
  9. Eddie Bauer "mini" diaper bag
  10. Nursing tank tops

On the computer

Doing nothing really, other than listening to music with the headphones blaring so loudly I don't have to listen to Dean cry while "going down for a nap". I am starting to get to the point where I say in my head, "Just shut up already!!!"

Maybe it's because he was UP EVERY 2 HOURS last night from 7 PM until 7AM.

Poor little boy.

I know he is tired because he was rubbing his eyes and yawning, not to mention cranky.

30 min. UPDATE:
Well, after crying for 30 min. (very unusual for a nap) I went in and gave him orajel just in case and rocked him a little and put him down again. Still crying. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

This morning when Dean was crying I told Matt that I was going to ban crying and he said, "Ok., but you'll have to follow that rule too."

45 min. UPDATE:
And 45 min. after putting him down it sounds like he may have just fallen asleep. Sweet peace for hopefully an hour.

Lets see if I can get some sewing done.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Millionaire Chicken

MILLIONAIRE CHICKEN—serves 4-6 adults
8 Tbsp (1/2 C) soy sauce 
4 Tbsp (1/4 C) honey
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
6 Tbsp oil (I use light olive oil)
4 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. Grated ginger or ½ tsp. Ground ginger
ground pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
3-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or a combination of dark and white, shredded. this is a good use for leftover roaster chicken.)
4-6 servings hot cooked white or brown rice

1. Boil the Chicken breasts in water until cooked through. Once done cooking, shred the chicken. (You can also do the chicken in a crock pot covered in water on low for 6-8 hours ).
2. Combine the other ingredients together in a saucepan and heat on the stove till it is just about to boil. Add the chicken meat and toss to coat. Serve on top of white or brown rice.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tantalizing Traditions

We haven't really established that many holiday traditions yet, however, we do have two Valentine traditions we started in 2003.

I make a delicious cheesecake. It started as an easy cheesepie (cheesecake in a pie tin), but last year I made a real New York Cheesecake. YUUUUUM. It was even better this year. Nice and creamy. Great texture. Great flavor.

He gets me beautiful Gerbera daisies. My favorite flower. (One for every year we're married.)

I also try and make an extra effort with dinner, though we don't have a set dish. This year it was one of his favorites, Millionaire Chicken. Also YUUUUM.

After dinner and Dean's bedtime, we watched a couple episodes of Battlestar Galactica and called it good. It was nice.

No frilly or expensive presents. No restaurants. Not our style.

Holy Hail!

There was tons of lightening throughout the night as I was feeding Dean. Around 6:30 AM I was climbing back in bed after one of the feedings and heard TONS of racket outside. It sounded like our house was being pelted with golf balls. Close, but not quite. I was almost worried about our windows and our roof. I was very grateful that both of our cars were safe and snug inside our garage.

It woke Matt up and I told him I wished we could get a good picture of it. He promptly got the camera and took a couple shots out our back door. He even braved the elements and got a piece of hail for a photo op.

When we moved here we heard that the hail could get bad, but we hadn't experienced anything like this yet. Insane!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Move over Walker Texas Ranger

Make room for:
Dean Texas Danger
(I know I've been posting a lot of videos and pictures lately. Hope you don't mind.)

Nothing like a roundhouse kick to the camera.

Young Love: A story through photos

Fast Forward 4 years

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Calling all crafters

Hello to all my crafty friends. My friend Erin S. is in the process of creating and manufacturing an acrylic stamp line. She needs your help in answering here online focus group questions. So, please to all my friends and lurkers who have any interest in stamps and crafts, visit her and answer her questions. She even has a possible prize for all who comment!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Good times and sad times

If you chance to meet a frown, do not let it stay.

Quickly turn it upside down and smile that frown away.

Looking for an exit

I finally found a Bumbo seat for a reasonable price in McKinney. He liked it well enough for about 10-20 min. at a time. After that, he twisted all over and tried find an exit strategy. Nice drool shot (hence the bib).

This was just a cute shot of him in his Sunday Pooh Bear vest.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A beautiful day in my neighborhood

72 degrees with just a hint of a breeze. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon stroll. I'd have gone on a little picnic if I had the picnic-ing type of husband.

Before moving here one of my Texan friends told me that their slogan was "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes." Now, if it said, "wait a day" I would agree. This week we've had fall, winter, spring and summer. One day this week I was bundled up in two layers for a walk. I had my hood up and cinched, gloves on and forged my way through a cold and bitter wind. Another day we had cold rains and hail.

Today is easily shorts worthy. It's the kind of day that makes me nostalgic for childhood games like kick the can, Andy-I-over, capture th flag, British Bulldogs, and Red Rover. And baseball games. And walking to the creek with my family. Good times.

Friday, February 08, 2008


So, I think he's teething. He's not quite 4 months (on Tuesday he will be 4), but he's been a total drool monster (we're talking massive amounts of drool) for the last month. The past couple of days he's been getting rashes on his chin, and he's been really irritable for no apparent reason. He's been munching on his hand whenever he gets the chance. Also, he's been coughing but not congested. Like a tickle in your throat cough (or maybe choking on his spit). I don't know. Matt thinks it's too early, and I know it's early, but it's possible. I gave him baby orajel last night when he couldn't go to sleep. (He cried for almost 2 hours. He'd fall asleep for about 5 min., wake up and cry for a bit, fall asleep for about 5 min., wake up and cry etc.) After I gave him the orajel he finally fell asleep.

He's getting pretty good at his ulnar grasping. He can pick things up (usually by accident), grab his blankets and rags, etc. It's fun. He's also a pro at holding his head up now. He seems super long to me. He's not quite 4 months and he fits almost all of the 6 month clothes. I know he weighs over 15 lbs. His feet are almost too big for the 0-6 mo. and he's already wearing 6-18 mo. socks! He's going to be tall like his daddy. Also, he is finding his voice and will experiment with sounds. He loves looking at himself in the mirror. I try and do tummy time everyday, but he can't stand being on his tummy more than 3-4 min. at a time and starts shrieking if he feels it has gone too long.

These are my interpretations of the following pictures. Isn't he cute?
(I know I've posted a few of these already...)

Happy, giggly, sleepy, shy, interested, bored, distracted, surprised, thoughtful, determined, sad.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

For Jessi

My cousin Jessica tagged me, so here's a post of 10 odd or random things about me. I guess the majority of my readers found me after my posts of 100 in four installments, so if I accidentally reuse an answer you may not even know.

  1. When I have oatmeal for breakfast I mix 1 packet of flavored oatmeal (cinnamon roll is my favorite) with about the same amount of regular oatmeal. I do this because one packet is not near enough food for breakfast, but 2 packets at full strength are just too sugary! I also like it a little soupy as opposed to gummy/thick.
  2. I've somehow turned into a sci-fi junkie. How did it happen? I think it started with a boy named Matt (my now husband). He suggested I read Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. I loved it. Then I read his Ender and Shadow series (Shadow is much better). He also had me watch X-Men, and I'll admit I didn't really "get it" at first, but it grew on me. After that we had Firefly (watched the whole season in 1 night!!) and Serenity, Heroes, and we've most recently arrived at Battlestar Galactica. (We're watching it from the first season on since there's nothing on TV due to the strike.) I have to add, I really only enjoy sci-fi when it's human based with a some anomalies.
  3. Since we're talking about movies, I'll add that I don't care for "chick flicks" much anymore (unless they're more comedic than chick flick-ish).
  4. I would like to run a half marathon someday. I just bought a jogging stroller today off craigslist after being inspired by my cousin Ali. She just finished her [2nd? 3rd?] marathon! I don' t know if I'm [dedicated, crazy, ambitious] enough for a full marathon, but a half seems attainable.
  5. The longest continuous run I've ever done is 7 miles.
  6. I just entered a contest at a local scrapbook store. I have to turn my project in by Saturday.
  7. My bed time is totally dependent on Matt's. I hate to go to bed before him, and it's difficult to fall asleep after him.
  8. I don't even own a tube of lipstick. My mascara is probably 3-4 years old. My eyeshadow is probably 6-7 years old.
  9. I have a very, very bad memory when it comes to specific events. It's a good thing I was a decent journal keeper from 6th grade until 2002. I kind of fell off the bandwagon then. I have all my blogs in a word document and I really need to print them off before I lose them accidentally. Otherwise I doubt I'd remember much of the last two years.
  10. I don't follow sports at all. I kind of have a hard time identifying with die-hard sports fans and "their team".

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sit and Stew or Go and Do: A Svithe

We had a great Sunday School lesson today on Nephi and his brothers. Here is what I took from it.

Nephi was a doer. When difficult or troubling situations arose, he didn't just sit around and complain about "how good my life might have been if..." like his older brothers. No. He prayed. He took counsel from the Prophet. And he took action.

My mom gave Dean a cute kids book that adapted some Book of Mormon stories for kids. The illustrations are great and at the end of each story there's a Then and Now section on how we can be like the Book of Mormon heroes. Nephi's section is on not complaining. So, how can we apply that now?

Ask yourself: "Do I sit and stew about my problems, often take offense at others doings, or complain to anyone who will listen? or Do I pray and move forward, taking a step in faith that things are not as bad as they seem and can actually improve."

Remember: "A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." ~Hugh Downs

The other lesson I was reminded of was:

Faith proceeds the miracle; miracles generally don't proceed faith. Meaning, those who believe will see the miracles performed in their lives. Those who do not believe will see miracles in their lives but will not recognize them as such, therefore they do not improve their faith. Or, they are hardened to the core of their being and are softened for a moment but return to their state of unbelief and wickedness shortly.

Ask yourself: "Do I tell God I will believe if He does what I want? Or do I have faith that God knows what is best and believe that everything will eventually work out for my good?"