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Sep 30, 2008

Ten months

Gavin is ten months old today! Here's the rundown of his last month.

Physical traits:

You started off the month with a check-up. You weighed 22 pounds, 15 ounces (85%), had a head circumference of 47 cm (75%), and stood 29 ¾” tall (95%). Your hair grew a lot that month and we started trying to tame it by parting it on the side. What a cutie. You were working on your eighth tooth (on the bottom) the last week of the month. You took your first steps on Thursday, September 4th. By the end of September, you were walking fluidly, but you hadn't yet figured out how to stand yourself up after a fall.

Little things I’ve noticed:

You learned to clap in September. You clearly favored your Daddy when he was home. You weren’t interested in being confined, especially in the stroller at your brothers’ soccer games. You wanted to move and explore. The Johnny Jump-up lost its savor, too, but you still jumped during my morning shower. You did silly things like pulling towels off the rack, opening cabinet drawers, and trying to close the bathroom door – all while in the jumper!

My favorite moments:

A wonderful development was your inclination for cuddling. During what I called the cuddle game, you nuzzled my neck, curled up on my lap, or rested in my arms. We would hug and squeeze as long as you were willing, which was sometimes several minutes. I told myself, “I won’t let go if you won’t!” I loved those tender moments. You also loved to grab my nose and hear me say, “Beep beep!” Silly boy.

Stuff I’m learning about you:

You adored bananas and yogurt. Other favorite finger foods were grapes, cheese, and bits of ham and turkey. You figured out sippy cups that month and loved to drink! Our lunchtime nursing session didn’t seem to be super important to you, so I substituted four ounces of formula in a sippy cup at lunch. You seemed very happy about that. You were down to morning and night nursing.

Highlights:

You took your first steps during the parent orientation at Tyler’s preschool. You were restless as I sat on the floor, so I stood you up in front of me. Instead of sitting down immediately, you took four solid steps and tumbled into my arms! I was surprised and elated! Within a few days you were crossing rooms with your hesitant, lurching steps. It was thrilling to watch your steady progress – and it was obvious that you enjoyed this new freedom, too!

Sep 28, 2008

We are all sisters

Last night I attended a satellite broadcast of the General Relief Society Meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I went with a group of friends, but for some reason, when I walked into the church building where the broadcast was held, I expected to see the familiar faces of my Oregon church congregation. I knew they were all doing the same thing I was at that moment in time, and while I suddenly missed them all terribly, I was also grateful that my sisterhood has expanded.

That was only one of the happy insights I gained last evening.

As I listened to the messages delivered by leaders of the church, I felt uplifted and inspired. They spoke of hope and encouragement, of being better and doing more, of reaching out to others in order to improve ourselves. They urged all who listened to get involved in neighborhoods and communities, to make a difference in the church but also in our families and with our friends. They reminded us that we are partners with God in this life, and that He has imparted divine qualities to each of us. They spoke of our amazing individual worth and told us not to be so hard on ourselves.

The words of a Primary song kept running through my mind. "I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow Him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor His name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow His light; His truth I will proclaim!"

The meeting also stirred up my gratitude that I belong to a worldwide Relief Society, which declares, "We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar."

This knowledge -- about my personal identity, the spiritual foundation of my existence, and my obligation to share the gospel I know is true -- is one of my most cherished possessions. Today I want to share it with you.

Whether you belong to the LDS church or not, I invite you to watch or listen to the amazing General Relief Society Meeting. Its messages have value for women and families everywhere, in all walks of life. You will be uplifted and inspired by the Spirit of the Lord as you listen. It is well worth your time.

The broadcast options are listed here (at this particular moment, transcripts are not available). You can listen, watch online, or consult this TV schedule if you have DirecTV or Dish Network service. I sincerely hope you'll take the time to listen to these powerful messages. They are for all of us.

Sep 26, 2008

The last diaper

See that diaper on Gavin's bum? It's the last one we've got.


As is customary when he wakes up in the morning, Gavin needed a fresh diaper. But the drawer that normally houses them was rather empty.


Much to my surprise, so was the supply box in the closet. How did that happen?


Diaper bag to the rescue. Unfortunately it won't get us through the weekend.


I had hoped for a very quiet, lazy day at home (ala yesterday), but apparently I need to run to the store...again. (I've already been to Costco, Target, and Wal-Mart this week.) What is wrong with my brain???

Sep 25, 2008

Dispelling the myth

So I've been surprised lately at a few emails in my inbox. Somehow, my blogging efforts have created the delusion among my readers that I am some sort of organizational guru. That I have a super capacity to accomplish and perfect. That I know more than the average Joe about getting things done.

This makes me laugh, because today my to-do list looks like this:
1. pluck my eyebrows. (check)
2. remember to pick Zach up from school.
3. sweep the kitchen floor, for the love of Pete.

I definitely like things the way I like them and have certain systems that work for me, but I'm definitely not an expert on...well, anything. But still, for some crazy reason, some people think I am. And this week I've gotten not one, not two, but three emails from friends who told me so. Chassie, my delightful cousin, even suggested I start an organization blog. Part of me just rolls my eyes. Part of me feels very flattered. And part of me is more than willing to share what I can if it's helpful.

So here's the deal.

If you have a burning desire to pick my brain, it's open for the picking. Leave a comment or send me an email and at some future date (next week, I imagine) I'll answer all your questions (assuming anyone is actually interested in this little game). I wish I was as cool (and sponsored) as the author of this fun blog and could give away a KitchenAid mixer to one lucky commenter, but I'll have to leave that for when I'm rich and famous.

I'm already feeling stupid about this post...so please don't make me regret it!

Sep 24, 2008

Welcome to the world, little one

I'm pleased to announce the arrival of my sweet little niece, Iris Olivia Dixon. She arrived at 6:03 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23. Congratulations to David, Rachel, Devlin, and Eve, proud parents and siblings! Hooray for people who bring little girls into our family! I love babies.

Seeing a newborn always reminds me of my own little boys and their first days on earth. There's something magical about infants fresh from heaven. I can almost smell their sweet breath, feel their soft skin, and cuddle with their tiny little forms. I love babies.

Zachary Todd -- October 19, 2001

Tyler James -- February 13, 2004

Gavin Drew -- November 30, 2007

This reminiscing also reminds me of a little game that Gavin and I have started to play. The name: Cuddles. The object: To nuzzle and cuddle and kiss and squeeze. The mantra: I won't let go if you won't. We play as often as Gavin wants -- whenever and wherever. Sometimes he buries his face in my shoulder. Sometimes he throws his arms around my neck. Sometimes he curls up on my lap. I absolutely adore this cuddly phase. It's as if we both sense he's growing up too fast, and we'd better cherish these moments of together time before he runs off and doesn't come back.

I love babies.

Sep 23, 2008

Home is where the pictures hang

Some of you visited our last house and saw our huge wall of family photos. I loved it. It was such a fun focal point, a conversation piece, and when I wanted it to be, a walk down memory lane. Every photo had a story.

I have really missed that wall.

It [only] took four months to get photos on the walls in our new house. I recently divided our original photo wall in two, replaced and updated lots of the pictures, and created a new collage with frames that used to hang in Garry's office. Our prints arrived via UPS on Friday, I framed everything on Saturday, and today was the day for the hammer and nails.

This project required a lot of work and brain power, and I'm the first to admit that the frames aren't completely straight or evenly spaced. I tried.

Imperfections seem to be the spice of my life, though. And I love seeing smiling faces on my walls. It makes me feel at home.




Sep 22, 2008

Testing, testing, 123

I'll always get an image of my dad talking into a microphone when I say that.

But really I'm just trying to see if post labels show up now.

What is that sound?

Last night Garry and I were enjoying an episode of Wipeout around 10:00 when we heard a bizarre noise behind the couch. It sounded like a water hose aimed at the side of the house.

Wait a minute....

All at once I leaped over the couch and opened the boys' bedroom door, where I caught Zachary peeing on it. The noise and movement startled him, but it was obvious he was dead asleep. I ushered him to the bathroom where he could finish his business. It's a good thing I stayed to supervise, though; his next target was the garbage can! Once I was sure his aim was accurately trained on the toilet, I ran upstairs to get a can of Spot Shot for the carpet mess.

[Meanwhile, Garry was convulsing with laughter on the couch. Lest you judge him as completely useless, he had cleaned up about five rounds of Gavin puke (three of which got on Garry) earlier that night. It was definitely my turn to deal with bodily fluids.]

When I got back, Zach was wandering around the hall looking confused and Garry was laughing even harder. Garry had been telling Zach to flush the toilet and Zach just didn't get it. Apparently he went into the bathroom four times to do this little chore, but somehow the synapses misfired. Eventually I walked him into the bathroom, held his hand while he flushed, and guided him back to his bed. Silly boy.

There is also a footnote to this story. I fell asleep on the couch last night and made the mistake of leaving the can of Spot Shot by the boys' bedroom door when I stumbled up to bed. This morning Zachary emptied the aerosol can (it was probably 75% full) all over the place. He swears it was just on the carpet, but the entire basement reeks of the stuff.

Some day Zach's really going to be mad at me for publicizing this. I just need proof -- I don't make this stuff up!

Sep 20, 2008

Falcons v. Utes

Today Garry, Zach, and Tyler attended the Air Force v. Utah football game. They got a great deal on tickets through our ward and had a fabulous time together!

Once at the stadium, Garry realized that the boys knew next to nothing about football, so he briefed them on the object of the game, basic plays, downs, field goals, etc.

Part-way through, Garry treated the boys to Air Force hats and yummy concessions (the first thing Mom heard about when they got home). Then they settled in for a great game. Utah beat Air Force in the final minutes, so the game was pretty exciting. Tyler was an especially enthusiastic fan.

As soon as the boys got home, Zachary grabbed a football. He and Tyler raced up and down the yard as they tried to imitate the college players. Garry tossed the ball, telling the boys to "go long!" Hooray for a yard where that's possible!

It was a great day for boys at our house.

Fours Tag

Here you go, Kari!

Four places I go over and over again:
1. The street in front of Zach's school (picking him up is a daily ritual).
2. The library (keeping track of our check-outs is a constant struggle, but we still do it).
3. Wally World (because in spite of its random stock, overwhelming size, and inept checkers, the prices are the best around).
4. My home office (let's face it, I'm obsessed with all things Internet, and my current scrappin' project is laid out and waiting).

Four places I love to eat:
1. My mom's house (
cannot wait for Thanksgiving dinner).
2. Red Robin (Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Wrap).
3. Costa Vida (Sweet Pork Salad).
4. Good Times (Oregon Blackberry custard).


Four places I'd rather be:
1. A Hawaiian beach (it'll be on my list until I get there).
2. Asleep in my bed (gotta love insomnia on a Saturday).
3. Outside on a run (I'm too lazy and it's dark).
4. On the cusp of Spring/Summer rather than Fall/Winter.


Four TV shows I watch:
1. Everybody Loves Raymond
2. Word Girl
3. Dora the Explorer
4. The Closer




Four events from the last week of my life:
1. I went grocery shopping
and planned a menu.
2. I made an agenda for my first activities committee meeting.
3. I enjoyed three soccer games (and got to stay home during the fourth!).
4. I got my eyes checked and ordered stylish new glasses.


I tag anyone who needs a posting idea for their blog. :)

Sep 17, 2008

Tyler's epiphany

On the way home from preschool today, Tyler and I had a funny conversation.

Tyler: We played I-Spy today, but I didn't get a turn like everyone else.
Heidi: Hmm...that's a bummer. Did you cry?
Tyler: NO.
Heidi: Did you throw a fit?
Tyler: NO.
Heidi: Did you yell?
Tyler: NO.
Heidi: Did you have a tantrum?
Tyler: NO!
Heidi: Well, that's good! I just wondered because that's how you'd act at home if you didn't get your way. Why didn't you have a tantrum for Mrs. Lincoln?
Tyler: I didn't want to bother the other classes.
Heidi. Oh! That's great!
{dramatic pause...}
Heidi: Did you know that your tantrums bother people at home?
Tyler: (apparently surprised) They do? I didn't know that!
Heidi: It's true. So tell me how you acted when you didn't get a turn.
Tyler: I just sat there and did what I usually do when we do a game where I get a turn.
Heidi: So you were happy?
Tyler: I wasn't excited about it, like I'm excited about going to Disneyland. I was just regular.
Heidi: Good for you.

A few of our favorite things: parent edition

{Cue Julie Andrews...again}

Pink painted toenails and sweet newborn babies
Beaches and mountains and tulips and daisies
Comfortable jeans due to treadmill running
These are some of Heidi's favorite things.

Home decor sewing, pianos, scrapbooking
Blogs, email, phone calls, and restaurant cooking
Conference messages in Fall and Spring
These are some of Heidi's favorite things.

Social events, airline travel 'cross miles
Surprises and secrets and kids' toothless smiles
Christmas and Easter and e'en Halloween
These are some of Heidi's favorite things.

When the kids fight,
When nothing's clean
When I miss the boys' Dad...
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad!

Audio books, iPod music and his wife
Three little boys who're the joys of his whole life
Short commutes, long movies, and of course, cheese
Are just some of Garry's favorite things.

Mountain Dew soda and the number seven
Sleeping in weekends and back rubs are heaven
Gadgets and gizmos and big TV screens
Are just some of Garry's favorite things.

Lord of the Rings online gaming and tied socks
Cinnamon rolls, comfy clothes, Taco Bell sauce
On road trips he does all of the driving
These are a few of G's favorite things.

When the server's down,
When flus come 'round,
When the kids are sad...
He simply remembers his favorite things,
And then he won't feel so bad!

A few of our favorite things

{Cue Julie Andrews}


Ice cream and pizza and mac and cheese pasta
Hamburgers (with only ketchup, but lotsa)
His ASU jersey with faded blue jeans
These are a few of Zach's favorite things.

The Magic School Bus and Nate the Great series

Dr. Suess tales when the others get weary
Wii games and listening to Raffi CD's
Bring joy like his other favorite things.


School friends like Westin and church friends like Spencer
Playing with Legos and Star Wars defenders
Going with Grandma to see Chuck E Cheese

These are a few of Zach's favorite things.

When the night's dark,

When the dogs bark,
When his dreams are bad,
Zach simply remembers his favorite things
And then he won't feel so sad!


Playgroup and story time at the library
Word World and Science Kid on PBS TV
Cat's Quizzer and Sneetches are the best reads
These are a few of Ty's favorite things

Beans that are refried with cheese and Ranch plenty
Kix and granola and snack time that's early

Playing outside on his beloved swings
Are just some of Tyler's most favorite things

Legos at playtime and on the best .com
Soccer games with Dad and Batman PJ's on
Crossing the monkey bars like he has wings
These are a few of Ty's favorite things


When the leg's scratched,
When pants are patched,
When the dinner's bad,
Ty simply remembers his favorite things
And then he won't feel so sad!

Goldfish and Daddy and his pacifier
Bananas and yogurt just couldn't be finer
Wearing one sock/shoe and random nap needs
These are some of Gavin's favorite things.

The hum of the treadmill and left-open cupboards
Toys that make music and cuddling with Mother

The Going to Bed Book and swinging in swings
These are some of Gavin's favorite things.

Telephones, cell phones and iPods and remotes
Garbage cans, toilets, and stair gates and hair combs
Homemade spaghetti and sippy cup drinks
These are some of Gavin's favorite things.

When his Mom leaves,
When the boys tease,
When he's tired and mad,

Gav simply remembers his favorite things
And then he won't feel so sad!

Sep 14, 2008

Calling all activity ideas!

The news of the day is this: I have a new calling.

It's my third job in our new ward so far (at least I can give up the other two). I accepted the responsibilities of ward activities chairperson. So help me.

Basically this means that I'm in charge of planning every-other-month, large-scale activities for our entire church congregation. I have two functional committee members but I can draw on auxiliary organizations in the church as well. I have a decent budget. I'm not afraid to work. What I need are some fabulous ideas.

So, fair readers, I'm asking for your help. If you have ever been to a great social event (whether it was a Mormon function or not), I would LOVE to hear about it. If you have amazing advice for a Christmas-themed program, that would be especially helpful.

I've been told to expect about 150 people (moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, teenagers, children, single adults) at each activity. In six weeks I have to entertain them at a fall carnival/Halloween shebang that has yet to be planned (which reminds me, I still need to reserve the building).

Any thoughts? Email me!

Holler, Holl Doll!

My sister, Holly, was born when I was 14. In the fall of 1994, when I was a sophomore in high school, she came to all of my cross country meets in a stroller. I always said that when she was 14 and I was (gasp!) 29, I'd bring my babies to her meets if she ended up a runner.

Well, this year she turned 14 and became a runner, and unfortunately I can't make good on my promise. While she's tearin' it up as a fast and furious freshman in Arizona, I have to be satisfied with phone updates. But I'm still proud of my little sis!




To read more about Holly's awesome cross-country debut, click here. Go Holly!

Sep 11, 2008

Remembering September 11

Seven years ago today, I was getting ready for work in a little Wymount apartment in Provo, Utah when the phone rang. It was Garry's mom, who had called to tell us about the events in progress in New York City and Washington, D.C. Garry and I switched on the TV as we continued our preparations for work and school.

Dumbfounded, we saw the gaping hole in one World Trade Center tower and heard reports of the Pentagon "bombing" in Washington. We were riveted, but we also had classes and employers, so we left home and turned on car radios instead. I drove to Wavetronix, where I was an administrative assistant. Garry went to class at BYU, excitedly anticipating the huge annual career fair that afternoon that would hopefully provide his post-graduation job in December. Little did we know how much the world would change.

As I look back on that day, I remember watching live news coverage in my boss's office and seeing the towers crumble in real time as horrified reporters (and my fellow employees) looked on. I remember being eight months pregnant and wondering what kind of world I'd be raising my baby boy in. I remember feeling scared and violated.

In the small corner of the world that Garry and I occupied, the immediate result of the terrorist attacks was the complete cancellation of the Marriott School of Management career fair. Air traffic was restricted and precious few of the recruiters could fly in for the event. When the fair was rescheduled a month later, only a handful of recruiters came. By that time, belts were tightened, hiring efforts were frozen, and the Marriott School's 98% placement record fell to 33% that year. Garry wasn't one of the lucky third.

But life went on. Our 9/11 "misfortunes" are tiny and insignificant compared to the devastating tragedies many experienced. But that's our story. I think about it every year on this day.

Where were you when the attacks happened? How did they affect your life?

A good day

Yesterday was a good day. It wasn't a perfect day, but I appreciated the good parts about it. Here are the highlights:
  • Seeing how excited Zach was about wearing a new outfit to school
  • Noticing how I didn't come unhinged when I realized I forgot to make a lunch for Zach; I just gave him money and pretty much made his day
  • Running on the treadmill while watching an old BYU devotional by President Monson. I loved his address for many reasons, but he quoted my favorite hymn and used running as a metaphor for life! Good stuff! Read President Monson's "Guideposts for Life's Journey" here or listen to it here.
  • Getting good news from an Oregon friend
  • Attending play group with fun mommies and kids
  • Watching Gavin fall asleep in the swing, but not before sharing it with Luke
  • Enjoying an impromptu Panera lunch with some of the playgroup mommies
  • Developing a plan for cutting out Gavin's lunchtime feeding
  • Making Christmas and birthday wish lists with the boys (their idea!)
  • Taking Zachary and Tyler rollerskating at Skate City for a school fund raiser (I have not laughed so hard in a long time)
  • Hearing about my baby sister's amazing first cross-country meet
  • Talking to my real-estate-guru brother for a long time on the phone
  • Falling asleep before ten o'clock and being able to sleep through the night
Hope y'all had a happy day, too!

Sep 9, 2008

Preschool, Take Two

Tyler started preschool today. Again.
Tyler was super excited.
He was the first person in the classroom.
I was the first parent to leave.
No tears were shed -- just big grins all around.


Let's hope we don't have any crazy surprises like last time!
I don't have a Plan C.

Sep 7, 2008

Two bikes and a baby

Here are some fun videos...one for each boy.

First and foremost: Tyler ditched the training wheels a couple weeks ago! Woo-hoo! In the video he's counting laps around our cul-de-sac. I think he did 36 before taking a rest. Tyler is still working on starting and {gracefully} stopping, but the middle part is perfect!

video


In July, we visited a park that has a BMX racing track. A boy from our ward brought his bike and let Zachary have a go at the course. He was in heaven! Zach has been begging to go back ever since but somehow we haven't made it. My favorite part of this video is hearing Zach's buddy cheer him on.

video

And last but not least, this video is just of Gavin being cute. The video is about a month old, but it gives a good glimpse of the silly sounds he makes and how active he is. I love his cute little wave at the end.

video

Sep 4, 2008

Let the games begin

Our family will be living and breathing soccer every evening for the next six weeks. Tyler's first game was last night and Zach's was tonight. They both had a fabulous time playing. It was fun to watch them get in the middle of the action. Zach and Ty each scored a goal, so all is well in their little worlds!

Here's a sampling of photos from the first games. We took a lot of pictures this time but don't plan to bore you with a play-by-play of every game!


It's especially fun to have Garry coaching Tyler's team.



Tyler did a great job making contact with the ball. (This is the primary objective for four-year-old players. The second objective is kicking in the right direction...)


Goooooo Kraze!!!


Gavin isn't a fan of soccer. It was chilly and windy at Tyler's game and Gavin just wasn't happy the whole time. I finally walked him around the field and he fell asleep. Gotta love 6:00 naps.


Gavin and I skipped Zach's first game for the sake of my sanity. Tyler went along, though, and had lots of fun cheering on his big brother.



Six-to-eight-year-old teams definitely play the sport better than four- and five-year-olds.
It looks like Zach's in for a great season. Watching him play should be fun for all of us (as long as Gavin's in a good mood!).

Another milestone for Mini G

Let it be known that on this,
the fourth day of September, two thousand and eight,
at approximately one o'clock in the afternoon,
Gavin Drew Bartle,
he being nine months and five days of age,
took his first steps.



Go, Gavin, go!

Answer me this

Question:

How does a boy
who is beginning to read quite fluidly
and can spell "crazy man"
and write/paint it by himself
produce this?


Isn't this just a little bit bizarre?

pass it on!

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