Friday, October 23, 2009

Birthday Cake

Alex turned three a few weeks ago so I thought I'd post his blue car cake. It looks a little strange from some angles, but I think we did okay. We've been watching Ace of Cakes after all.
Recently Alex has been very specific about how his toast is cooked. It can't be sunburned. What I guess that means is that it must have the same coloring as bread but be hard like toast (no brown marks at all or it will be refused... cut toast will also be refused). He is very specific about what he wants. Today it was a waffle, a piece of candy and some chocolate milk in the new blue sippy cup with the blue lid. It must be in that order too. Funny kid.

He has a fascination with the moon lately as well. The other night we went outside and he said, "Hey, the moon popped out!" A couple of days later we were driving and he said that the moon was following us. Then on our last walk Jared and I were talking and he turned around and said, "Shhh, be quiet. The moon is sleeping."
We've been trying to get him more interested in wearing underwear, so I made a little chart and told him if he wears underwear 7 times he could get something. I asked him what was something he really wanted and he said "diapers". Yeah, I was thinking more along the lines of a yo-yo or something, since he's been begging for one. So far, no yo-yo. His newest declaration is that he will wear underwear when he's five. So much for pre-school.

Also, don't ever say that he's a big boy, because according to him, he is little. I think this helps him justify the wearing diapers thing. Some day.

We love you, Alex!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sweet Relief

Wohoo! Last night was my midterm presentation. As usual, there were many late nights and a few all-nighters in order to prepare everything. The house turned to shambles, the laundry piled up and the kids were left to their own devices most of the time. As the days grew nearer I began to feel more and more nervous about everything. But I was able to get everything done that I needed to and after an hour and a half of printing (due to the time it takes to stream and send to the plotter, a million other people plotting at the same time and a couple of printing errors) I finally had my presentation ready. The stress instantly lessened, only to realize I hadn't really eaten since dinner the night before. (Am I ever going to miss this?) I may have set the record for scarfing down a 6 inch ham and cheese.

While I was printing someone came down and told me that my teacher wanted me to go first. Since I wasn't there she planned to have someone else go first. Then when she saw me there she had us choose who would go first and I let the other guy go, thinking I would go second. But, evidently it was a choice between going first or going last (I guess she chose two of the most developed projects to begin and end with). Going last is the worst! Everyone is really tired after four hours of crits, including the jury, so you either don't get as many comments or they just notice the bad things because they're sick of looking at the same thing over and over. And inevitably at least one of the jury members has to leave three people before the end. So not only did I have a chance to go first and didn't take it, but the jury member that I wanted to see my project had left.

Even though I didn't get as many comments as I would have liked, I got a good review. My teacher said it was the most complete project in the class and it showed the rigor I have put into my work all semester. That was very good to hear, especially since I strongly considered dropping the class after three weeks. This teacher is very demanding and expects a lot. There is another teacher during the day who is really easy and everyone is literally loving the class, as opposed to everyone in our class stressing out each week. But I do like her in the way she pushes me to make my design better. I really owe a lot to her critiques, even though a couple of times I've had to almost start over.

The other reason for the stress (and the reason I almost dropped the class) is because I have been working a little part time. Not really by choice, but it's for the bus shelter thing. I was ready to work on it this summer (when I didn't have design) but wouldn't you know that the notice to proceed came in mid September, and when it did the county wanted it right away. Could it have possibly been any worse timing for me? Not really. I told the architect I'm working with (and my professor from last semester) that I was working on my thesis project and I can only do so much, like half a day a week. But the fact that I had a huge midterm did not seem to matter to him, I had to get these things done or they would cancel the project. Crazy! I am learning a lot in the process though.

Today, I woke up slightly rested for a change and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I still have to focus on the final which is in 5 1/2 weeks, but since I got so much done for the midterm I hope there won't be as much to do as the first part of the semester. The end is near!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Alex turns three

Alex is turning three this Saturday. I felt a little guilty about him never having a birthday party, but two of his friends' parents independently asked if we could watch their kids this weekend, so it may end up being a little sleepover party.

Alex is a very cuddly boy who just melts to your body when you pick him up. I love that about him. He recently learned how to write his own name, not always in the right order and the E has as many horizontal lines as he can fit. It's nice to know he can still learn when I'm not there to teach him things.

Alex is also a little bit of a quirky kid and must have things done his own way. For instance, you must be the right parent to give him breakfast (today he didn't eat for two hours because he wanted daddy to do it, and he'd already gone to work), he must be on the right chair with the right color bowl and spoon, you must give him the right amount (usually more than the first amount you tried to give him), you must wait for him to pat his cereal down before you pour the milk and only start pouring when he gives the okay, you must (depending on the day) pour either really fast or really slow, and whatever you do, don't stop pouring until he says "when"--even if it's about to spill out of the bowl. Trust me, it is much better to find out how he wants it done and comply with his request (as long as it's not completely irrational), than it is to make any kind of error in his plan. A meltdown will ensue.

The other day I spent 20 minutes of my life explaining to a meltdown-y kid that I wasn't going to open a new jar of applesauce until the 3/4 full one in the fridge was gone. Even though they were the exact same, he wanted the one from the cupboard and there was no changing his mind. I guess he finally got so hungry that he decided he would eat the rest of the one in the fridge so he could finally open his jar and be happy.

I realize that some of these behaviors could be chalked up to him being a child--a two almost three year old child, but having other children tells me that not all kids are this way. He closes doors behind him whenever he leaves a room, he insists on sitting right in the middle of the family room to watch TV, you can't move the stroller or the car until his seat belt is on (and don't try to help him either), and he likes to be clean and would take more than one bath a day if I let him. If he gets even a drop of water (or syrup, ketchup, etc.) on his clothes he has to change them immediately. Today, because of that, the fact that I haven't bought him any new clothes in a while and that I haven't done laundry for a while, he did not have any shorts to wear (and they had to be shorts by the way). We literally had to wait for the dryer to finish in order to leave the house (so much easier with girls--they run out of clothes you tell them to wear a dress).

Oh, I almost forgot... he also has to be wearing pajamas when he eats breakfast. If for some reason he sleeps in his clothes (not at all by his choice, but if he just falls asleep before changing), he wakes up the next day and changes into pajamas. One morning he changed from clothes to pajamas, spilled a whole bowl of Rice Krispies on them before taking a bite, changed into another pair of pajamas, spilled a little bit of bowl two on those, changed into PJ's pair three and finished his cereal happy, dry and most importantly, wearing the correct breakfast attire. As soon as he finished it was time to change into clothes. (Is it any wondered he keeps running out of clothes?)

As quirky as he may be, he is our sweet, lovable, smart, articulate, clean, active, funny, cuddly boy and we love him! Happy birthday Alex!

FYI: Per Alex's request he will have a chocolate car cake with blue frosting and he wants a rainbow hat for his birthday present. I really hate to disappoint him, but a rainbow hat??? Where did he get this strange idea? Is it a baseball cap? A beanie? I have no idea. The only one I found online was a Jamaican rainbow cap/wig with long black dreads attached--and I'm thinking it might not be what he envisioned. He'll have to settle for a Buzz Lightyear.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Even though I have an overwhelming amount of school work to do, I have to express my emotion regarding the announcement of a temple to be built in Fort Lauderdale! You can not imagine the joy and excitement we felt when we heard such incredible news. Either it's my already stuffy nose from getting sick yet again, or I am feeling incredibly emotional about getting a temple. Probably a combination of the two. President Monson said 86 percent of the church lives within 200 miles of a temple. I just googled it and we live 213 miles away from the nearest temple. When he said that, the thought occurred to me that we would be on the list to get a temple... and we were!

It is always a huge sacrifice to go to the temple. Our stake has been chartering two temple buses a month up to Orlando for several years now which generally leave at 4:30 or 5:00 am and don't get back till about 6:00 or 7:00 pm. These bus trips have been really great, but it is always a hassle trying to find families to watch kids all day, or even over night. Sometimes we drive our kids the 3 hours up there, take turns and then drive back. Sometimes we go separately. Usually I try to go to a temple whenever I travel, because there seems to always be one where we end up going.

But I can only imagine how great it will be to call a babysitter for the night, drive 15 minutes and be at the temple. Or even go when my kids are in school. What a blessing! And I know it will be a blessing for all the other members, as well as the many good people that live down here who do not know about the church. I am just so grateful, emotional, excited and feel so blessed to be able to witness Christ's church move forward in all parts of the world, even my own back yard!