Wednesday, August 29, 2007

IKEA...the amazing maze

So we are pretty fortunate that we have an IKEA about 20 min. from us. I have to say that I don't necessarily love everything there as most of it is too modern for me. We have found some great items there lately-the most recent find on Friday. Speaking of Friday I thought that IKEA would be packed on a Friday night like it is on Saturdays (wall to wall people). I guess only losers like us go to furniture places on a Friday night. Everyone else must have been out partying (we did our partying AFTER IKEA) as the place was pretty deserted. Also, if you have never been to a IKEA it is a giant maze that you must follow and only those that have been frequent times can navigate successfully to end the maze sooner. Another great bonus about IKEA is that they have a really great cafeteria that is reasonably priced. Their swedish meatballs (you do know that IKEA is based out of Sweden right?) are yum-o!!

We went to IKEA last week to find some kind of storage unit for Matthew's bedroom. He has way too many toys that were encroaching our living room daily and I was tired of putting everything away every night. We first thought that we would get an expedit like the one I have in my craft room, but as we rounded the kids section about to leave there was this cute storage piece. Jordan painted the top and sides to match his room so now it is the perfect place to store some of his toys. BTW-the little chair and table you can kindof see in the picture is also from IKEA and will be perfect in about another year for him to use.

Of course like any store I have a hard time just leaving with my designated item of purchase. In one of the last sections before going into the warehouse I found these cute giant stickers. The directions said to place on a clean flat surface and my walls are clean but not flat (all homes in AZ have texturized walls). I am having a few issues having them stick completely but I'm just going to modge podge them down and deal with the consequences later. I put the giant flowers in my bathroom and the swirly golden flower stickers in my Dining room. I love the look and it was pretty cheap. We also found some cute finger puppets for Matthew and some plastic plates for $.99 each.

If you have never been to IKEA once you get through the maze of rooms you are then dumped into a warehouse where you locate your item by aisle, load it onto a trolley, pay and roll it out to your car. All of the furniture is self assembly and usually isn't that hard to put together that I can see (ask Jordan for the real deal). I wouldn't however put our whole house together out of IKEA furniture. When we lived in VA one of our friends bought their entire house out of IKEA and had about 50 boxes of furniture to put together while her husband was overseas for 6 weeks. Jordan was nice enough to help her for about 3 or 4 nights getting everything assembled.

Anyways, if you haven't ventured to IKEA yet, find one in your area and go check it out. It's a great date night....going through a merchandise maze and eating dinner all in one location for a pretty cheap price.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Baby, Baby, Baby Signing Time

About 3 months ago I could tell that Matthew knew what he wanted but couldn't tell me what he needed. I went and bought a baby signing book to try and get us started on signing. I started signing more, drink, all done all the time but I swear he just looked at me like I had three heads. I persisted for about a month and then gave up because it wasn't working.

We went to an event just over two months ago and one of our friends were there with their daughter who is just older than Matthew and she was signing all sorts of things. I talked to Erica and she said that she was using a Baby Signing Time video. I immediately ordered the set when I got home so we could try signing again. It's such a cute video with catchy songs that teach you how to sign different words. We even have CD's we can play in the car.

We've been watching the video about every other day and I've been very consistent with using signs when I ask Matthew for things he wants. Last week he started signing back with prompting from us so that made me happy that he was finally getting it. Yesterday I was so proud when he signed for more (he wanted more fish sticks) and for milk all on his own and he signed cracker after I prompted him-boy did he get some good praise from me. When I got him up this morning he was signing that he wanted milk so he got some great praise again and his milk. Maybe this is going to work? Not that he doesn't babble incessantly about everything but he'll be able to tell me his needs in a way that I can understand.

We started watching the second video yesterday and they were singing about socks, shoes, hats, and coats and I swear he was looking at her (the lady singing and signing) like what are you talking about I don't even know what those are. You see Matthew doesn't wear socks (neither do I), hardly shoes (only sandals if he wears anything-same with me), hats only for swimming, and hasn't worn a coat since around Feb. The poor kid doesn't really have anything to reference for any of those. I really don't think he understood what she was singing about.

I'll need to finally buy socks in probably Nov. for when we visit the families for the holidays. He does have a fall coat from last year that should still fit. Even in the winter a light coat or sweater just about does it and you can still get away with sandals. We're always take inappropriate clothing when we visit family for the holidays as we forget how cold it can get in Utah and Beatty.

On another note, Jordan just posted this blog about Matthew's teething. I was dying laughing and thought you could all use a laugh too.

Monday, August 20, 2007

High School Musical 2...and musings from the week

Ok-I haven't actually seen High School Musical or HSM2, but lots of people have been talking about it so I thought I'd post my thoughts about this phenomenon.

The message board that I frequent had lots of ladies talking about HSM2 before it premiered and how their kids were excited and were going to parties etc. for the debut. I just knew it was going to be a big hit. It was a HUGE hit and was the highest rated show ever on cable network....and that is saying a lot. They are projecting that 17.24 million households watched the program. They think even more people than that actually tuned in because of the parties I mentioned before.

The whole reason I'm posting this is because I think it's great that a show that is catering to the family is such a huge hit. They are already planning on a HSM3 and possibly 4. Even though I haven't seen either one they are both on my DVR so I will be watching them soon.

I have to say that Disney has some very cute shows for all age groups. Matthew has for some reason decided he likes Mickey's Clubhouse (Donald makes him crack up) so I get to see "commercials" for the other shows on Disney. There are fun ones for the little kids, the tweens, and Teens. I loved Disney growing up and hope it keeps turning out good shows for Matthew to watch one day. I am just hoping that other networks will catch on and realize that families are a HUGE market and not everything has to be violent. Yes, I like my Law and Order, but Matthew won't be watching it with me anytime soon.

Anyways, enough Disney for one day. Other things we've done lately
-Bought and learned a new "Bean" Bohnanza game: Weird, fun, addicting. Great for a group 2-7 players. I've already won twice so of course I like it!
-Hosted a progressive dinner starting at our house with appetizers. Poor Matthew went to the church for free babysitting and was in the nursery room with 20 other kids. He did pretty good until the end and was crying when we went to pick him up. I think he was just hungry.
-Saw Bourne Ultimatum-A kick butt film that I highly recommend to anyone. We think it is the best in the trilogy.
-I read Eclipse the 3rd book in the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. It didn't disappoint at all-maybe my favorite so far. My friend called me to invite me to her bookclub and they were discussing the series. Loved talking about the books to other people that had read them.
-We made an amazing dinner last night of Turkey Meatballs/Gnocchi and the meatballs tasted better than any other time we've made them. They were perfection-savory, juicy, succulent. Leftovers tonight were even yummy too!
-I bought Matthew some new Sandra Boynton books. They are silly and don't make sense and I love them. His book collection is now overflowing and I need to find a new basket as the one he has is bursting at the seams. He's so cute when he brings me books to read to him. I just hope he continues this love of books past age 5.
-AND last but not least Matthew is about to break about 4 teeth so you can only guess how much fun it has been around here lately.

All in all life is good and we feel blessed every day to have really great jobs, an amazing little family, extended family and friends. Let's just hope the weather starts cooling down soon as we are feeling half-baked anytime we go outside lately. Yeah, I know you aren't jealous of our weather now but we'll be having glorious weather in about 2 months and you'll all start suffering from the cold! Seriously the winter weather here makes the suffering of the summer so worth it.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I returned home on Wednesday after being away for six days at our Annual Convention. It was a lot of work and I am still recovering from exhaustion. Our staff worked so many hours I thought I would share things that happen when you are sleep deprived and have worked 14-16 hour days for 5 days straight.

So I had a delirious episode before I even left for Convention. I had been working a lot the week before Convention and hadn't had time to go shopping for some new shoes until the night before I left. I walked into Macy's and there were my shoes. They looked perfect they were no back tennis shoes-perfect! I tried on the brown pair and they were just the right size. The black pair fit a little different and I couldn't decide what size I needed them in. I put two different sizes on each foot and then decided the 8 1/2 were great! I pulled my shoes out when I got home to start packing and took out my black shoes and discovered I didn't have a complete pair instead I had two left shoes. I had brought home both sizes. I should have known right there I was going to have some delirious moments. Jordan was nice enough to return them and get the right pair together the next day while I flew into Vegas.

Other delirious moments shared by myself and other co-workers while in Vegas:
-One of my co-workers thought he saw a frog in the convention center and tried to find it until he figured out it must have been an illusion.
-I told this same coworker that someone donated fifteen thousand grand to our charity. He made fun of me endlessly.
-He then was telling me a story about a guy who took money out of his sock and shoe because there was no more wallet in his money. See what happens when you make fun of me-you get your own words twisted up. Ha!
-A girl co-worker told a guy co-worker that he had nice jugs instead of guns!
-We used walkie talkies that had ear buds (like the President's security wear). Every night when I was laying in bed I could hear people talking in my ear and nothing was in my ear.

So these were just a few funny moments that had me laughing the last day of Convention. I really needed those laughs as I was so exhausted and was really missing my family. It was about 10:30 pm and 5 of us were walking back to the hotel together and we kept laughing at all these funny moments. I was going to my room to sleep and they were all going out to party.

I go to my tower and get off on my floor and walk to the end of the hall where my room is. The key won't work and I am VERY frustrated and want to cry. I don't have the energy to go all the way back down to the front desk. I am so tired and lugging my super heavy laptop bag. I go back to the elevators and there is a hotel phone there so I call the front desk and tell them my key isn't working. They tell me that my room is on the 21st floor and I say yes that's right. They proceed then to tell me that I am on the 8th floor. I then realize that I sound really tired and I'm sure they think that I am drunk. The hotel probably gets drunk lost people calling all the time. When I was walking to the room that I thought was mine I was wondering why there were 8's in front of the room #'s instead of 21's. My brain was so dead it didn't even compute. I giggled about my funny mistake all the way back to my REAL room location.

Let's just say that I am amazed I made it home in one piece with all of my belongings. Jordan picked me up from the airport and then I dropped him off at work and took Matthew home. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open and functioning until Matthew took a nap. I took a nap too and didn't wake up until Jordan got home from work almost 3 hrs later. Jordan checked in on Matthew and he was awake. Between being dead asleep, the air conditioning, and my ears being plugged up I never heard him so who knows how long he had been awake. He hadn't been crying so he must have been fine playing in his crib.

I was so tired last night I took a nap at 7 pm and then went to bed at 9. I am feeling more myself today but am still pretty tired. I am hoping by Monday I am back to myself. I don't know how people work these many hours constantly. I can only do 1 week a year and then it takes me about 5 days to recover.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

I owe everyone a major update to this site/our picture site now that Matthew is running around the house and I have (as-yet-unedited) video proof. He's done a lot of funny things lately, so I need to get that on here. In the meantime, this is just a quick post about one of those great moments you have as a father. Until recently, Matthew typically didn't get too bothered when we left him with a babysitter. In fact, he didn't seem to even notice, except for on a rare occasion with his mom. For about five days starting last Friday, Karin was in Las Vegas for her company's annual convention, and I had to leave Matthew with a babysitter for a few of those days while I went to work. Finally on Tuesday morning I think everything clicked into place for him, and he started to cry when I left. Again this morning as I got ready to head to work, he practically chased me to the garage door crying. While I don't like to see my son cry, there's something about the fact that he is sad to see me go and happy to see me come home that really made my day.

(By the way, before we had Matthew, I think Karin was pretty sure that I was at least 95% emotionally dead. Something about that little guy changed that, I guess).