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Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

The best thing about taking an infant trick-or-treating is that you get to eat all ehr candy later! Everyone knows this, but she is so cute that they all seem cool with it. While we were walking around our neighborhood I decided that there must be some unwritten rule that children a year and a half or young must be some type of animal or bug for their costume. Ivie was a dragonfly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Murder Mystery Party Sneak Peak!

(Most handsome Jafar and Mystery host ever!)
I am wiped out tonight becuase we threw our annual Murder Mystery halloween party tonight.



I LOVE halloween. It is my very, very, very favorite. And Trev, and my good friends Blake and Michelle love it - and me enough - to help throw a murder mystery each year.
There is alot I want to tell about - but for now, just know that we had an awesome time - the theme was the "Where are they Now? - The After Story of Disney Characters."
People went way out on their costumes this year - which ROCKED. Serious kudos to everyone. I love this party.
I love our friends. I love my amazing neighbor for babysitting Ivie while we played. I love my husband and how fun he is. I love cheesy carnival games. And I really love disney song-singing contests with helium balloons. I love everything tonight. Thanks to everyone that was a part. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Autumn - the year's last, loveliest, smile" ~ William Cullen Bryant

Autumn does have a lovely smile, and I am biased, but I don't think that Fall's finest grin could rival Ivie's.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I have been thinking of buying some of these:

Because Lil Miss Ivie is doing alot of this lately:

(PS - Don't you love the dress and headband? An awesome HANDMADE baby gift from the very talented CYN who I am lucky enough to call a dear friend. Check out her craftiness here and jealously oogle her massive sewing capability. )
(PSS - also notice my child's wonky hair? It is out of control. If you have any suggestions on how to do the hair of a little girl who inherited her fathers wild locks, please let me know. My mom, who babysat Ivie in Vegas for us a couple weekends ago while we were doing some stuff down there, just kept saying to me every morning, "I don't know what you are going to do with this hair.")







Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bullies, Kids and Solutions

since we aren't doing the TV thing with Ivie, I rely on her nap-times to stream the news and such shows off the Internet and catch up on the happenings of the world. Yesterday I happened to watch the ABC 20/20 Fri. Oct. 15,2010 episode (I think this will still be up on Hulu for awhile). Anyhow, it was a special on teenagers and bullying - given the recent events in the news about kids committing suicide after being, no pun intended, teased to death. Anyhow - it really got me thinking.

Some of the main arguments I took from the episode that the producers seem to be making about the problem of bullying are
  1. kids can never get away from it - kids in today's generations are so linked to facebook, cell phones and other net sites that bullying happens outside of school zones and playgrounds - it happens in cyber space.
  2. Adults don't do enough. From school officials to parents involved in situations that arise, there seems to be more adults who think it is best for kids to sort out their stuff, rather than intervene. One striking thing about this documentary was that ABC set up 4 teenage girl actors in a public park, where there were lots of adults. Three girls were surrounding and mercilessly teasing the fourth. They were saying horrid things to her. She was crying. All around them adults would look and stare, they would even look upset, but no one did anything.
The program bugged me. I always watch special news reports each day, and while I find a lot of them to be striking and interesting, some well done and others not, this one has really stayed with me.

And I think the reasoning is this: I have a kid. A kid who some day is going to have to start dealing with other kids. And kids can be very mean.

And, I know they can be very mean because after watching and thinking about the program I realized that I had a serious bullying issue in high school, even though I never would have called it that until yesterday.

In eighth grade I was attending Ririe Middle School and for some stupid reason a boy named Kory Anderson became the absolute bane of my existence there. Kory and I had been friends through middle school, but then one week in the eighth grade he started to "tease" me. he would say terrible things. Every time I would walk by Kory he would call me a "25 cent slut" or some variation of that. Soon it wasn't just Kory - it was all of his friends as well. Even though I knew Kory for years after this incident and I assume he grew up to be a decent guy - when I think of him even today I see his mean weasily little eighth grade face. Things got so bad and I was so bothered that after a few weeks I told my mom who told the principal who called Kory's mom who made him apologize. And even though Kory mostly left me alone after that, it was really too late and too many other 8th grade boys still made little comments here and there. Sure, the intensity backed off a bit, but there were still comments.

And I HATED it. I hoped that with the start of high school in 9th grade it would be over, that with lots more students, different classes and other activities those lame boys would lose track of me. And they did, to a degree. But just before school let out in May, when I was playing basketball for Ririe's freshman team the cheerleaders had all put these signs on our lockers that read Bad to the Bone" on them (our mascot was the bulldogs) and Marc Wicman - one of Kory's friends and an original teaser added an R to the end of my sign, making it read Bad to the Boner.

Standing in the hallway that day, staring at that sign on my locker I was done. I knew that I was never coming back to that high school.

Luckily, I had a good out. My parents were divorced and my dad lived in Madison school district's boundaries. I never told my parents about the continued teasing or that stupid sign. I told them I wanted to switch schools because there were more opportunities at Madison High school.

In fact, I have never really told anybody all of that until now. And I am not sharing in hopes of sympathy or anything. I have made my peace with that part of my past and switching high schools was one of the biggest blessings in my entire life. I did have so many more opportunities, met many dear friends, and arguably - without going to MHS I would never have met Trevor which set us up to date and marry later.

I bring this up because until yesterday, i would never have considered what happened to my BULLYING. I just thought of it as TEASING. Even last year, when my little sister Rachel told me about a group of boys at her middle school that she hated that were always calling her PIG and how she couldn't wait for JR High because she was pretty sure they would lose track of her there, I just thought she was being teased

And I can't help but wonder if sometimes kids who are being bullied don't even really know what is happening to them We always think of bullies as people who physically beat you up and take your lunch money.

And maybe more adults would step up and tell kids to knock it off if we weren't so afraid of disciplining or directing other people's children.

And maybe it is just a part of childhood that we all have to go through - but it seems like it is getting more mean and more intense each year.

And if I dealt with it, and then 13 years later my little sister dealt with the exact same thing, how do I protect and prepare my little girl sleeping in the next room to deal with it in another 13 years?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is anyone out there?

Life is crazy right now. There are so many things that I should be blogging about...but...for some reason, I seem to have sort of lost my blogging drive.

I know it has to with a lot of things. Obviously with a new little lady in my life I am lots busier than before, studying for the PHD entrance test is kicking my butt, and I also think that ever since moving my blog private I have lost momentum.

Added to that, is that I always loved that my blog was a way to hear from folks I don't often hear from, and a way for me to comment on others' lives...

But lately, it doesn't seem that much of this is happening. I find myself wanting to blog, and then deciding I am tired with a "meh, no one reads that stuff anyway.." Which doesn't help, becuase I know there are private blogs on my reading list that I rarely check because they are not updated enough (Clarissa and Shalee - you two are always so good I check you every day! ).

And I am guilty of not leaving enough comments for others as well.

There are things I want to blog about. Thoughts that I have. Updates on the fam or course, but more questions and conversations that I would like to throw out to a general readership. I have also had a literary journal solicit some poetry work from me, and I have to put some stuff together to publish in their Feb. edition - so I could use some feedback (good critical stuff, not compliments) on that...but sometimes I just don't feel like there are many folks out there.

I remember when my aunt Jessica, the one who inspired me to blog, left her final blogger note saying she was signing off, and I am kind of wondering if this is how she felt. Anyone else out there struggle with this? I guess what I am wondering, to rip off Hamlet, is to blog or not to blog...that is the question.

Monday, October 4, 2010

JUST GO TAKE A HIKE!

After a serious lack of hiking in my life over the last 13 months - due to pregnancy and babies

(I hiked Angel's Landing in Zion during my first trimester and puked the ENTIRE way up the trail, and decided that prego hiking was no good for me, other hikers in the area or the great outdoors in general.)

I am back. And oh does it feel good. Actually, the good is mostly mental right now. My body is out of shape and my knees are shot, but slowly and surely my joints are strengthening again, and each hike gets progressively better.

Last weekend one of Trevor's instructors, who he really admires and respects, invited us to come along on one of their family's traditional hikes. They even let us borrow their old baby-backpack. I was so nervous about going. We hadn't been hiking in a long time, we have a 6 month old baby, the hike was 16 miles and trev and I are generally slower hikers anyway, due to my wussiness and Trev's weak leg. However, they assured us they would be happy to go at our pace, that they were willing to stop whenever the baby needed a stop. So we went. And I am so glad we did. Ivie did awesome, she was such a happy camper. She cooed and sang and slept in her pack and only fussed when she needed a bite to eat or a clean diaper. The trail was incredible. We hiked the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park and it will forever be one of my favorite hikes. It really gives you a different perspective on the hike. We didn't take enough pictures to even do it justice. If my life flashes before my eyes on my deathbed, I hope it moves slowly through this scene. It was simply breathtaking.
Ivie eating dirt. :)

And we MADE it. It took us all day, and we went slow and I was really hurting towards the end, but I am so glad we did it.

We enjoyed it so much we went out his week and picked up our own baby back-pack. It is an awesome pack, and if you are in the market for one, this is the one to go with. Trevor, Ivie and I all love it.

And Sunday, after conference, our good friends Steve and Lancia gave us a reason to use it. Steve, Lancia, their son Lykin and their dog Charley took us (Trev, Chelsi, Ivie and Ripsi) on a short hike (about 4 miles) to the incredible Snow Canyon Overlook.














We got caught in a quick and furious rainstorm. I love that Trevor is always so prepared - he had rain ponchos and jackets enough for everybody. I was unprepared though - Mother-of-the-year that I am, I forgot to bring warm socks for Ivie in the event that weather turned nasty. So she had to due make-shift booties from an adult sock and a bandanna.
The geology is so different here compared to where i grew up hiking. I do not have words to capture the sensation of cresting the last hill on a trail to have the valley below suddenly drastically open up with red rock and white sandstone formation. It is a type of poetry I cannot articulate yet, and it is a feeling I hope I never forget.