Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kuishini kuona and other musical stuff

If you are interested in listening to the World Premiere of "Africa" that I sang in last week, you can download a podcast here.

Tomorrow (Friday) morning I am going down to St. George to adjudicate some middle school choirs in a festival. I'm a little nervous as I've never actually adjudicated choirs. I suppose I'm well enough equipped. We'll see how it goes.

Joel's adjudicated two different festivals this week, guest conducted for the community choir that I sing in (they LOVED him, of course), and is also beginning rehearsals for his upcoming concerto night with the Orchestra of Southern Utah. This is all on top of his normal university, high school and middle school groups.

Then there's the benefit concert, which is creeping up and I really don't feel very prepared, not to mention the fact that my duet partner is at a choral convention right now so we aren't rehearsing again till Sunday. There will be a lot of rehearsals this week, and then the performance next Saturday (which I understand will also be podcast, aren't you excited?). I'm sure I'll be ready enough...but we haven't even rehearsed with our accompanist yet!

And then we can all (except maybe Joel, who will be busy as ever) breathe a sigh of relief. And I can perhaps organize a closet or two.

Simplification: February update

So February for me was all about trying to get my house better organized. Getting rid of things we don't need or use and finding a home for everything else, thus making it easier for the house to stay in order.

February was also a bit of an insane month with more commitments than usual, so the organization challenge is still not quite finished. I have organized (and purged) my pantry, my closet, the desk full of art supplies and the girls' bathroom. Still on the docket: the hall closet, the girls' closet, the scrapbook supply shelf, the kitchen cupboards, the computer desk and the garage.

I have been extremely happy with what I have done. Especially the pantry. I bought a few Tupperware Modular Mates when they were on sale at the beginning of the month (my neighbor had a party) for the sugar, flour, oats and rice. The rest of the the containers are just normal, cheap Sterilite shoe boxes. I have actually been using those in the pantry for several years now, thanks to my mom. I just re-labeled everything and re-arranged. Then I bought an over the door rack at WalMart for about 15 dollars to make a bit more room. Now that I'm doing Grocery Game I need my pantry to be more effective and hold more food. I also have several shelves out in the garage that are full of food, but those need to be better organized at this point.

I didn't actually think to take a before picture, but you can enjoy the functionality of the current state of my pantry....except, my kitchen is way too small, and short of standing on top of the fridge, it is impossible to show you the whole thing in one picture.

Here is the most comprehensive look:


A better view of the Sterilite containers:


Better view of the bottom part, and my new Tupperware Modular Mates (I want more!):


The top three shelves of the over the door rack (it has five in all):


Finally, the bottom two shelves, and for cuteness' sake, Sophie stacking the stuff on the bottom shelf. Also, please ignore the fullness of my garbage can...it isn't my job to empty it, but looks like I will be doing that after I hit the publish button:



Now, my question to all of you:

What are your best bathroom storage/organization ideas? I have two bathrooms which are very small and no linen closets. The closet space in this house is severely lacking (except the pantry...that's pretty great). Like I said, I got the girls' bathroom pretty much organized, but that leaves my bathroom stuffed to the hilt with stuff...most of it stuff we actually need and use, but I will be purging some things when I get to it. Towels are smashed under the sink, the two small shelves I have above the toilet and the towel rack really aren't enough to hold everything. So if you have any great and inexpensive storage solutions, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My little artists

I let Bria play with my paper scraps the other day. Even though she made an amazing mess, this is one of the cool things she made. It's a flower, a butterfly and a sun...all made with hearts.

Chloe is, of course, constantly drawing. She has now started a kick of doing portraits, and for a 4 year old who will turn 5 in a couple weeks, she has done some stellar work. This is the front and back of a recent work. I got a kick out of the fact that she drew all the hair on the back.


Sophie is quickly following in Chloe's footsteps. When Chloe was about 18 months old she used to draw little circles everywhere. Sophie isn't quite as prolific in the circle drawing as Chloe was, but she has learned how to do them and is really proud of her work. This is something she did in nursery at church a couple Sundays ago.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I spy...

I've been wanting to branch out a bit with my photography. Come up with more interesting things to shoot. Just have my camera out more in general.

So, I found a challenge blog that is called "We spy-you spy" and it's just perfect for now. Just one challenge every Tuesday, which happens to be one of my less busy days.

Today's challenge: I spy something with a pattern.

I decided to photograph Sophie with one of her favorite blankets. We call it the "bug blanket" because of its ladybug pattern. I actually made it for Chloe when she was a baby, but she never really loved it...she loved the blanket Grammy Venturi made her, which is now completely trashed she loved it so much. But Sophie chose this bug blanket as her first love. She also has a pink one that was storebought that she really loves too, that isn't quite so big and easier to carry around. She has to have them both to go to sleep, though.

So, here's my entry into the I spy challenge:


And, just for fun, another one of the five pictures she let me take of her this morning:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Twist of Fate

Rachel asked to hear about the reason why I ended up majoring in vocal performance instead of MDT. I thought that would make a great blog entry at this time in which I am struggling to find interesting things to write.

In High School I was heavily involved in the theater program. I was in all the musicals, took superior ratings at region and state drama, was a member of the Thespian Society and all the other stuff you do when you're a drama geek. I especially loved the musical theater part of it. Loved it. That was what I was going to major in, no question.

Well, the time came for me to start thinking about college. I don't really remember which other schools I applied to, but I was accepted to BYU early on and decided I would go there. It was close to home and they have an excellent Music Dance Theater program. I believe I received my acceptance letter in December of 1991. I wanted to audition for scholarships, so I called and had the information sent to me. I'm sure I told them Music Dance Theater, but apparently all they heard was the music part.

In the spring, I received a letter to come for music scholarship auditions stating the time and place of my audition. I didn't really question anything, even the fact that they wanted at least one classical piece. I just prepared myself, and one Saturday morning got all dressed up and drove down to BYU with my mom.

I had filled out my information sheet, and one of the questions had you check which major you planned on out of music education, vocal performance and pedagogy and music dance theater. Yet another reason why I did not question the process.

My turn came and I went into the band/orchestra room downstairs in the HFAC and sang for Dr. Arden Hopkin. I sang "Gia il Sole dal Gange" and "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera. After I was finished singing, he brought up the fact that I had checked the MDT box. He than proceeded to tell me that the MDT scholarship auditions had happened over a week before, but he had been very impressed with me and would really love to see me major in vocal performance. He even told me he had seen me in one of my school musicals and had hoped that I would come to BYU in that major. But then he said that if my heart was in the theater department that that was where I needed to be.

After discussing things a bit more with Dr. Hopkin, my mom and I decided to go talk to Randy Boothe, who was then in charge of the MDT program. We went to his office and he listened to our concerns: How somehow I had been given incorrect information and that I was really wanting to major in MDT and hoped to receive a scholarship. He was kind enough to let me send in a video, but I only had maybe a week to get it in. So, I filmed myself singing, doing a monologue and a dance, which a friend choreographed for me.

Meanwhile, I was getting calls from Dr. Hopkin asking me to reconsider and that they would love to have me in the music department. Finally, I got a call from the MDT people telling me I had been accepted into the program, but did not receive a scholarship. At this point I had already started feeling like I wasn't supposed to do MDT after all, so that was kind of the final thing that helped me make the decision to do vocal performance. Unfortunately, by the time I had made up my mind, the talent awards in the vocal department had been given away already. But that was okay....I re-auditioned the next year and received one which helped me with tuition for the next several years.

So, that was the huge twist of fate that landed me in the vocal performance major. Like I said yesterday, I am eternally grateful for it and I know that was where I was meant to be. While I still love musical theater, I developed a real love for opera and other classical vocal music. It has given me many opportunities through the years and perhaps the most important thing is that I met my husband because I was a music major.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

7 random things about moi

Jenn tagged me to write seven random facts about myself. I've already done really similar memes, twice, (1 and 2) but I'm sure that you'd love to know more random things about me. Actually, I really like that the word is just random and not weird or quirky or insane. That makes it a bit easier this time.

1. I do not look good in the color blue, much to my husband's chagrin. Not only does it completely wash me out, but I don't believe it fits my personality one iota. Red, on the other hand, I look fabulous wearing. As an added plus it matches my personality well.

2. I hate being pregnant. And I hate even more when people say things like "don't you just love being pregnant?" to me when I am pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I love the end result and I would do it all over again all three times for my girls, but that doesn't mean I have to like the journey. And I don't feel one bit guilty for it...my pregnancies are horrendous.

3. I like to write out the alphabet in different "fonts" when I am bored. Or talking on the phone. Or taking notes in a class that I'm not interested in (way back when I actually took classes). I think I owe my good handwriting to this particular bad habit.

4. I actually enjoy being so busy that I go slightly insane. I saw a bumper sticker today that said "Happiness is being in over your head" and I actually had to agree. I don't do well when I have a free day....always have to be busy. I'm trying to let go of that so that I can do a few things really well instead of just doing a lot of things.

5. I used to hate the color pink. I refused to wear it as a child, a teenager and as an adult. Until I had Chloe. By then it had started to grow on me. I didn't really dress Bria in pink much...I was determined not to, and she's shaping up to be a bit like me because I notice she doesn't love to wear pink, even though she has a lot of it. Chloe absolutely loves to wear pink. And we'll see what Sophie likes soon enough, but she definitely wears it quite often! And me, well, I actually would call it my second favorite color these days and I actually wear it now.

6. I don't really love chocolate. I like it okay, but if I have to choose, I prefer the ultra sugary stuff, like candy corn, snickerdoodles or gummy bears. Now, if caramel is involved, chocolate is wonderful. But mostly, it just gives me a headache.

7. In Jr. High I was too shy to audition for the plays. I finally dared to try in 9th grade and regret all the lost time in musicals. I almost majored in Music Dance Theater but a huge twist of fate landed me in the vocal performance major instead, for which I'm eternally grateful, but I still kind of miss doing musical theater.

And there you have it. You now know so many random, weird and quirky things about me that you probably know me better than I know myself. I'm not tagging anyone (I'm a rule breaker...yet another random fact about me), but if you want to do this I'd love to read about it!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Roses are red, violets are blue...

Last night was the big world premiere of Africa. It was a pretty cool thing to be a part of, and it was nice to meet the composers (one of which looked just exactly like an elder I served with in Romania, and turned out to be his brother) and just to see the audience reaction to the piece. It isn't music that I generally love, but it is definitely a crowd pleaser. I suppose I tend to be a little too snobbish about music anyway and it is a really fun work. It reminded me of a movie score more than anything. Perhaps the composers should see if they can become the next John Williams.

And I got flowers. Not for singing, either. The choir gave them to me for doing their headshots. (If you want to see them yourself, click here.) I had already been showered with compliments about the photos, and then last night they gave me a dozen roses and a really nice thank-you card. Seriously gave me the warm fuzzies. I didn't even do my best work, since I was doing it for free and don't really have much time to spare. I just couldn't let them have horrible headshots and I did enjoy doing it. I only took 4 or 5 pictures of each kid, let them look at the LCD and choose their favorite, deleted the rest and did minimal editing. Some of them rock, others certainly aren't that great. It just made me feel good to help them somehow and that they were so grateful.

Speaking of flowers, I generally don't like to get them. Joel has learned not to buy me flowers and he knows that if he's going to spend his money on me, I'd rather have something useful or something that actually lasts longer than a week.

When I was in college, one of my roommates received a bouquet from some guy. Another guy was in our apartment at the time practicing the piano (yes, we had a piano), and overheard our conversation about the flowers. We were in general consensus that while they were pretty, most of us would rather have been given something useful. One of my roommates volunteered that she'd rather have a can of Spaghettios than a bunch of roses.

Later that day we opened the door to find some Spaghettios with a note thanking us for the use of the piano. That was when we first learned that boys really are teachable. I just hope he didn't get into the habit of giving his girlfriend canned food before finding out if she actually liked flowers or would indeed prefer something else.

Over the years I've grown to like flowers a bit more. After all, they are quite lovely, and it really is nice to have fresh flowers around, even if it is only for a few days. As long as the bouquet doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I won't complain if Joel gets them for me. And I certainly won't complain if someone whose name is not on my bank account decides to get them for me.

They brightened my day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why I had a major freak out session yesterday

Joel and I have decided that we will no longer use credit cards. Instead, we are trying very hard to follow Dave Ramsey's program and build up emergency savings, get out of debt and start paying cash for everything.

So, we built up our 1,000 dollar emergency fund, which we knew would be put to good use in January since we wouldn't start to get paid by SUU until February. Actually, Christmas expenses had already knocked a bit of it out by January so we had around 700 dollars in there.

We used some of it in January to pay the car payment (which is what our SUU checks pay for, plus a few other small things) and then we didn't get any SUU checks at the beginning of February. Somehow, we were able to make things stretch until February 15th when Joel received his SUU check. That's right. Mine still hasn't come. Payroll says they mailed it, but it isn't here, and the Music Department secretary said she has had several people with the same issue. Weirdness.

So fine. It was tight without my check, but Joel got paid yesterday from his high school/middle school job and it would be okay. Especially since our landlord hadn't cashed rent yet and we'd sort of dipped under what should have been in the account to cover that payment since I didn't get my SUU money.

Well, he didn't get paid. The school district's bank made some error and nobody got paid yesterday. And that's when rent went through. It should have been covered by about 200 dollars of the 450 dollars or so that was in savings, but the bank depleted savings and still charged us an overdraft fee. They made about 300 dollars of our checking account unavailable because I did a deposit through the ATM. Which makes zero sense to me, but oh well. Also, that was the first overdraft fee we have paid since the very early years of marriage when neither of us was so great handling the finances.

The money was deposited today, and they actually paid us a whopping 15 dollars more than usual. (Maybe to make up for the mistake?) Joel is going to call our credit union and complain about that stupid overdraft fee that totally shouldn't be there. And life will go on.

It just made me really thankful that we are trying so hard to live the way we are. We would have been in a lot of trouble yesterday if we hadn't been as frugal as we have been and if we hadn't had any sort of savings, low as it currently was. It is so hard to live on a teacher's salary, but we are making it work, and doing our darnedest to live within our means. We will hopefully be able to build our emergency fund back up quickly (tax refund, anyone?) and pay off most of our credit card debt this year.

I will also hopefully receive my SUU check before the end of July.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You can learn a lot about a woman by looking in her purse

I'm obviously having blogging issues lately. Normally I don't do a lot of these things, but for the sake of keeping my blog updated I have caved more than once. Once my crazy February is over, my brain might allow some extra room for great blog ideas.

I'm actually super surprised at how much stuff is in my purse, because I have been trying to be more minimalistic with it and clean it out more often. A few months ago you might have fainted at hearing the contents of my bag. It still seems like quite a lot, though, despite my best efforts. Oh well, I guess that's why we women carry purses and not wallets in the first place.

Anyway, because I know everyone is dying to know, here is a list of what is in my purse right now:

My wallet.
My day planner.
A notebook, usually used for shopping lists and the like.
A checkbook.
The envelope in which I received my payment for adjudicating the music festival last week.
The paper with a breakdown of said payment. I guess we could call it a paystub of sorts.
A Grocery Game printout for Smith's.
Paper from Sophie's Dr. appointment listing her height/weight and other stats.
A receipt from Dillard's for the new formal dress I bought this weekend for the benefit concert I will be singing in March.
A tin of vanilla scented lip gloss.
A tube of lipstick.
A compact mirror.
My cell phone.
A tampon.
A Tide to Go stain stick thing.
A tube of my prescription progesterone cream.
A pill box with my medication in it.
3 pens and a mechanical pencil.

And last but certainly not least...

A package of Kleenex. (But you already knew that, right?)

Now, you tell me what my "purse stuff" says about me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When it's too quiet in the kitchen

Every experienced parent knows that when it becomes unusually quiet in the house it is almost always because mischief making is in process. This is even more true when more than one child is involved. Because if there's only one, chances are much, much higher that the calm is due to falling asleep. When there are two, you just know that they are getting into trouble.

This type of eerie silence descended upon my home one morning last week. Chloe and Sophie had been their usual noisy selves all morning, but while I was doing laundry I noticed it had all stopped. When I discovered what they were doing, I was pretty much relieved because nothing was broken, the mess wasn't too horrible and at least they got into somewhat healthy food instead of finding the stash of cookies, candy or fruit snacks. Although they did use over half of a bottle of ranch dressing, wasted most of the carrots in the fridge and caused me to have to re-mop what had been a sparkling kitchen a few minutes before.

Every parent also knows to take pictures of such events. So, even though these particular photos don't do justice to the ranchy mess that was my kitchen floor, that is exactly what I did.




Friday, February 15, 2008

Why a woman should always have Kleenex in her purse

Of course you should have it for all of the obvious reasons: Wiping your child's snotty nose, to have on hand when (not if) you catch your child's cold, to put ABC gum into when your child hands it to you, to clean up the messy face of the same precious child after she has eaten a lollipop at the grocery store and to (again) wipe your child's snotty nose.

However, there are other, less obvious, reasons to carry Kleenex with you at all times.

Let's say your husband is planning on being gone for all of Valentine's Day evening because he is the director of the University Jazz Band, which always plays for the big formal dance on campus. Let's say you are feeling rather down in the dumps, because you will not be doing anything with your sweetheart on Valentine's Day for the second year in a row because of the above mentioned Jazz Band engagement.

After you have moped around a bit, you start to make dinner for yourself and the kids, and just when you have put your first bite of pancake into your mouth (yes, you made breakfast for dinner), the phone rings and it's your husband. He tells you that you have 20 minutes to get dressed up and he'd be there to get you. He indeed shows up soon after with one of your favorite babysitters in tow and you head off to the dance.

You get to eat the sit down dinner with him, and then you watch everyone dance while the Jazz Band plays. (Don't worry, being married to a conductor you are pretty used to sitting through things like this by yourself.) You say hello to a few people that you know, but spend most of the time just enjoying the music and people watching.

Sometime during the dancing you notice a young couple sitting at the table next to you. The girl is bawling, and her date is trying desperately to console her, but she isn't having any of it. Mascara is running down her face, she is searching in her purse for something (you assume for a tissue), but comes up empty handed. At that moment her boyfriend gets up from the table and asks the waiter for something, and is handed a totally unsoft linen napkin from dinner. You finally decide to just walk over there and hand her the package of Kleenex that is in your purse. That's all. No need for words, you're sure she's already embarrassed enough for having such an emotional display at what is supposed to be a romantic dinner dance. She uses several of the Kleenex and then her date returns the rest of the pack to you, incredibly grateful.

Soon after, they finally get up and start dancing. Then the music ends, you go and help your husband put music stands away and take down equipment and gather up music. Then you sit and people watch some more while you wait for them to load up their truck. You walk over to the music building with your date and make sure all percussion is put away properly, lock the doors and go back to the car and head home.

It might not have been the greatest way to spend Valentine's Day, but you did get to spend it with your husband and it was certainly much better than sitting around at home feeling sorry for yourself.

And anyway, aren't you glad you were there? Even if only to help some poor, distraught girl with your ever present package of Kleenex.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Can I please move back to Arizona now?
(and so much for having a clean car)

I almost died last night.

When I left my house at 1:30 in the afternoon to head down to St. George, it was windy, but nice. I was wearing a short dress, boots and a sweater because it wasn't too cold, and I knew it would be warmer once I got there.

I adjudicated for nearly 4 hours, had quite a lot of fun working with the students and generally looking like an idiot in front of them trying to get them to come out of their shells, and only made one of them cry. But all that is really for another blog on another day.

The drive home was fairly uneventful at first. I left the school at about 6:45 pm, which should have gotten me home before 7:45 with no trouble. Joel called me when I was about 5 miles north of St. George and asked if it was raining, because it was raining up in Cedar. It wasn't, but I knew to expect it, and I did hit the rain storm about 15 minutes later. That slowed me down a bit, but wasn't horrible. Then Joel called when I was in New Harmony, which is just about 15 miles south of Cedar and asked if I'd hit snow yet. Not yet, but I certainly did pretty quickly after that. So that slowed me down even more, and then the wind came and it suddenly was a white out. I couldn't see a thing. At this point, a wild animal ran across the freeway and I barely missed hitting it, so that freaked me out even more.

So here I am, crawling along at 20 mph, unable to see more than 1 foot in front of me, trying desperately to stay on the road and just praying my guts out that I could get home safely. In my mind I was thinking of every possible scenario: Sliding off the road and getting stuck, having to pull off to the side because I just couldn't go on, in which case I would have to walk the 8 or so miles to Cedar City and I wasn't suitably dressed for that, so then I would freeze to death or suffer frostbite or something. So, I just kept praying that I'd at least make it to the freeway exit.

There are no streetlights between New Harmony and Cedar City and I have never been so happy to see the Cedar City sign because that meant actual lights and a little more visibility. I took the first exit off the freeway, even though my house is off the second exit because I just wanted to get off and also my exit has a roundabout thing, and just thinking about navigating it in that weather scared the pants off me. I took main street through town, turned where I needed to and was fine until I reached the unlit parts out by where I live. Then I just hoped I could even see to turn into my neighborhood.

I made it home at about 8:15. Completely relieved to be in one piece.

Today we have a lot of snow, but it's shaping up to be a beautiful and sunny day. Now I'm just lamenting the fact that I washed my car on Monday. Oh well, at least it was clean for a couple days.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wearing all the hats

I don't know about you, but I never feel very capable of being everything I am supposed to be at all times. Instead, I feel like I am an excellent mother one day, a great voice teacher the next day and an amazing Young Women leader the next. I never seem to have the ability to be all things at once. Not even two things at once, it seems. When I am busy being a fabulous scrapbooker, my housekeeping, mothering, vocal teaching, and whatever else responsibilites get neglected. Or more likely, completely forgotten.

Yesterday I wore the housekeeper and mother hats quite well. I took Sophie to the doctor, I went to the bank, I went to several grocery stores (spent 120 and saved 120. Go me!) and did a fair amount of house cleaning. Even the "deep" kind. I was even able to remember to copy and send some music to one of my students who has had trouble finding the piece I assigned to her. But then, my mom hat went right back on.

Today I am donning my photographer hat for a good portion of the day. I took some newborn pictures this morning of a friend's new baby and I told the SUU kids in the choir that I would do headshots for them this afternoon. That was kind of crazy of me to do, but they were taking headshots of each other to use in their tour program with a not so great camera under fluorescent lighting and not having much luck (gee, I wonder why?) so I finally stepped in and said I would be happy to do some pictures for them. I will also have my singer hat on for a bit, and then my Young Women's hat. Unfortunately, the mom hat has been rather neglected already today.

Tomorrow I will be wearing my musician hat for a good portion of the day. And not because I will be teaching at SUU. Nope. I am going down to St. George to adjudicate a vocal competition. Looks like I have 29 kids to listen to, critique and work with. I'm actually pretty excited. It's been a while since I have adjudicated anything and I always have a lot of fun. Several of my own students are competing (they will have a different judge) and I hope to be able to find time to peek in on them as well.

So, am I alone in this? Do you feel like this, or am I just some sort of anti-female who pretends to multi-task, but when it really comes down to it, fails miserably?

What hats do you wear, and how do you juggle them?

Do tell.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby girl's getting bigger!

Sophia had her 18-month old well child check this morning. Which means shots. Which means I have a very cranky baby in my lap right now. Last time she got shots she didn't know what was going on, and after the ordeal was finished she certainly told me all about that mean nurse that had the nerve to poke her like that. Well, today, she remembered that ordeal and wouldn't let the nurse do anything. I had to hold her down for her temp to be taken, her heart to be heard and even to sit on the scale and be measured.

Speaking of which, she is still a very tall baby. She is in the 95th percentile for height and the 60th percentile for weight. There was a couple in the waiting room with an 18 month old baby who looked older (only because she actually had hair) but was a good 6 inches shorter than her. I can also vouch for the fact that she has grown like a little weed the last several months, with some of my favorite outfits which were too large in October becoming 3 inches too short in the leg in the last little while.

I haven't much felt like I have anything to blog about lately...just trying to keep my head above water...so I thought I'd document a few of the new words/phrases Sophia has been saying since I last blogged about the topic. I am no longer worried she doesn't have enough words...she really has blown me away with her vocabulary, even if she isn't quite on the level her older sisters were at this age. Besides, the doctor assured me this morning that she is well above average in the verbal department.

So, without further ado, some of Sophie's latest vocabulary feats:

NO! Translation: Give me that now, how dare you take it away! She still says "uh-uh" when asked any question, but she is occasionally starting to add a much nicer sounding "no" at the end of her "uh-uh."

Mom-mom. She doesn't call me Mama anymore..it's Mom-mom. Mama is now what she calls my mom (we call her Mamah). I actually really like the Mom-mom, as long as it isn't being screeched for twenty solid minutes.

Shu. Translation: Shoe. I spell it that way because she does something really closed about the oo sound. And she's definitely shaping up to be a normal female who is completely obsessed with footwear.

Ya-ya. Translation: Bria. And Chloe (which does not make Chloe very happy). Whenever we tell her to say Chloe she tries, but it really is different every time, and when she refers to Chloe on her own, it definitely comes out Ya-ya.

Da. Translation: Daddy. Even if you tell her to say Daddy, she will only give you the one syllable. To her, that is his name.

Hee-ee. Translation: Here it is! You really have to hear her inflection to get this, but she'll say it if you ask her where her belly button is, or if she finds something (usually her shoes or bottle) that we've been looking for.

Dundunno. Translation: I don't know. She uses this phrase when we are looking for the above mentioned shoes or bottle and we ask her where they are.

Yuh-oo. Translation: I love you. She'll only say it when we say it to her first, but it's just plain sweet.

Gassa. Translation: Glasses. She is intrigued by them...it helps that both of her parents and one of her older sisters all wear them. She loves to get them off of the night table for me every morning if she was brought into bed with us before dawn. She also freaks out if they start slipping down my nose as they tend to do while I am changing her diaper. She basically holds them up for me until I am finished.

Baby. Translation: Hamster. We were over at some friends' the other day and they have hamsters. I've never heard her say baby before, but that is what she called them. And boy, did she ever have a lot to say about those hamsters...she was basically in heaven.

Ow. Translation: Out. This is what she says when she wants to get out of her high chair or car seat or stroller.

Tee. Translation: Cheese. She will go and stand at the fridge and say this. She loves cheese of every kind...definitely her mother's daughter in that regard.

Tee tee. Translation: TV. She has just recently started being interested in the kid's shows that the older girls watch. When she gets her milk she always goes to the couch and asks to watch "tee zee." So cute.

Poo poo. Translation: Just what you think it means. I do love that she tells me when she's messed her diaper pretty much immediately. She comes and gets me, says "poo poo," then takes me by the hand and leads me to her room where she points up in the closet to the diapers and wipes. Hopefully this means she'll be a cinch to potty train.

She has also started trying to mimic just about anything we tell her to say, and it's really adorable. She enjoys singing, and her favorite song is the alphabet, to which she'll sing "Ay. Ay. Ay. Ooh. Ooh. Ay."

And hearing her do that really is one of the most precious parts of my existence.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Craziness

So, I just got back from a rehearsal. Between yesterday and today, that is my third rehearsal. Plus, I taught at SUU yesterday and have a bunch of lessons this afternoon at my home.

My house is a wreck. It was fairly clean yesterday morning, but that never lasts long. I'm hoping to find a few great organization tips, and then the time to implement them soon.

I did, however, get my Hall of Fame entry mailed off this morning. All in all, I'm over the moon ecstatic about this entry. My other two entries from the last couple years I couldn't ever really say that. I loved a few of the pages, but not the entire thing. This time I want to marry the whole darn thing. Hopefully the judges will, too.

And now I should probably go get my home in some sort of presentable order before a student comes and dies from the mess.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

Here's a fun meme I found on flip flop mom's blog, and since I don't have anything amazing to say, (which makes this particular meme all the more apropo), I thought it would be amusing to do it myself.

You have to answer the questions with a Google image search. No using your own pictures. Could be scary...let's see what happens.

1. A place you would like to travel

2. Favorite food

3. Favorite dessert

4. Your name

5. Favorite animal

6. Your pet's name (since I don't officially have any pets, other than my children, I am using my parents' dog, because she's practically ours too)

7. Favorite singer(s)

8. Town you live in

9. Current job

10. Favorite author

11. Favorite color

12. A bad habit

13. Favorite objects

14. Favorite song


There. Now you know more about me, and I didn't even have to say a word.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Creative Binge

I didn't have to go down to Tuacahn yesterday because all of my students were up north for a theater event. Worked out nicely because I am still feeling really yucky and the weather was pretty bad in the morning, so the drive wouldn't have been so fun.

So, I slept in till nearly 11:00 am, hoping to cure myself of the crud I've been fighting for the last week. Then we watched President Hinckley's funeral. After that I did a bit of housework.

And then, I scrapbooked. I let Joel take care of everything else (with his permission, of course) and I cut and glued and inked and pasted to my little heart's content.

I finished 5 layouts, 4 of which will be included in my Hall of Fame entry. (check your email to see them.) Which means that the layout part of the entry is done. Finished. Just have to do that darn non-layout project and have my entry put together and mailed off by this Friday. I do enjoy cutting things close, don't I?

I have my scrap/art stuff all organized wonderfully with a desk and everything in Sophia's room. But, I haven't been able to use it as she gets older because she will only sleep in her crib. So, I have to haul everything out to the kitchen table.

This is what my kitchen table looked like at 1:00 this morning when I finished up:


And now, I must go attempt to clean it all up, so we can eat dinner tonight.