Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Did I mention we were excited?

Well, my voice is still MIA for the most part. There were a couple times today that it almost sounded normal for a sentence or two, but I'm really trying to not talk, so I of course didn't see what the limits were. The first day was rather difficult (it's hard to say anything with authority when you can only whisper), but I've gotten somewhat used to it, and Ethan has too. We've both been signing more, which is cool. Terral's a little too used to it at times. He starts whispering back, and then half-way through the conversation he remembers that he can talk at a normal volume. :)

Back to the topic of Ethan signing, he's still doing really well with signing "potty". In fact, last night he even went to the bathroom door himself and pounded on it to go in! And he did more than just pee in the toilet! It was very exciting. It made up for the fact that he wouldn't go to bed. (And it, along with a late nap he had, explained why he wouldn't.) So in spite of the late hour, we bundled up and went outside for a bit for his reward.

And today, he peed two more times in the potty! Hooray!

Okay, I promise this blog will not turn into a daily log of bowel movements. I'll just record the big stuff. Unfortunately for you, I get to decide what counts as big. ;)

Another exciting thing happened today. We got an awesome package in the mail! On Monday we took a big plunge and signed up for doTERRA and our essential oils came today! And boy, were we eager to start using them. It was heavenly to breathe deep without feeling like I had to cough.

So, yeah. Lotta excitement 'round here. :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Double Trouble

Here's a snapshot from this morning.

Terral and I keep asking ourselves how in the heck we're going to handle two kids when the time comes.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Vox-less Fox

Yesterday was the first Sunday with our new primary presidency, and I must say I was impressed. They were organized and had such a good energy! And the primary president already knew every child's name. Wow. I still have a handful I don't feel comfortable with.

So primary went quite well. I had been feeling better (remember how we've had some sickness around here?) but I still wasn't tip top. Terral and Ethan stayed home to try to get better faster and avoid spreading the "fun". Well, I stayed after church to go to choir, and apparently that was a big mistake. After two rounds of singing time, my voice was starting to sound just a bit raspy, so I decided I would take it easy and not sing the high notes in choir. I even switched to alto the second half. By the end of choir, it was pretty obvious my voice needed some rest. Okay, point taken. I decided not to go to stake choir that evening. Well, all evening my voice got worse. And then I had a horrible coughing fit. Like, I-almost-threw-up kind of coughing. I foresaw vocal rest in my immediate future. I just didn't foresee quite so much.

When I woke up this morning, I had only the barest sliver of a voice left. A short conversation with father of a boy I babysit, and it was gone. Whenever I open my mouth, only a whisper comes out. It's the strangest thing. I'll go without talking for a while, and then I try to say something and it completely surprises me. It doesn't hurt, but I know it's not good. I'm kind of worried. Having a hoarse voice has been a rare occurrence for me (thankfully). I've never lost it so bad before. I'm hoping there is no permanent damage from this.

So, if you happen to find my voice as you're going about your day-to-day activities, will you tell it I miss it something fierce and would it please come home? I'd be awfully appreciative.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Backlog 13

Today's backlog documents Easter last year. Anyone else gearing up for Easter? I'm really looking forward to it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Conference and Gathering

This morning was weird because I got out of bed and looked at the clock, and it said 7:54. So not normal for me on a Saturday. But Ethan wasn't sleeping well, and I was awake, so I got up. And I had time to take a bath before I had to leave, which was really nice.  We had a stake Relief Society conference, and I sang in the choir. We sang "Take Time To Be Holy," which is a really beautiful piece. I love the words. They are such a good reminder of what's important. Blaine Yorgason spoke. He is working on a history of the St. George temple right now, and he shared some amazing and very humbling stories that made me very grateful for the comforts I have and eager to go to the temple more frequently. There was a light luncheon afterward, and I got to visit with a lot of ladies from the seventh ward that I don't see very often now that the boundaries are different.

Terral took Ethan on a good walk while I was gone and did some visiting, which they both enjoyed. And when I got back we all did some things we like. Ethan played, Terral worked on a photography idea, and I read. (I finished the book I checked out yesterday. It was pretty good, but not fabulous.)

Then this evening we got together with all of Terral's family and had a combined (belated) birthday dinner for Erin and Doug. We held it in the new Unshoes workshop, which was fun for us. It was nice to have an open area that Ethan could run around in. We had a good time visiting with everyone, and we planned to take a family temple trip soon.

I kept thinking that I must be forgetting something that needed doing. It felt odd to feel so unpressured on a Saturday. But Singing Time was planned, and nothing else was urgent. So we just had nice relaxing Saturday. It's nice to have those every once in a while.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Struggle and A Triumph

First off, a couple disclaimers. 1) The struggle and triumph are not related. 2) This post talks about functions of the body—consider yourself warned. 

Well, much of today kind of felt like a step backwards. Ethan and I were doing better yesterday, but last night was a rough one, and today wasn't great either. Ethan was super whiny today, wouldn't take a nap, and had to be held all. the. time. And as usual, he kept asking to go outside. I thought a walk would do us both some good, but I felt grody and didn't want to leave the house unshowered. And since he wasn't napping and was super clingy, that just wasn't going to happen. Fortunately, Terral got home from work with enough time before he had to go teach that he could watch Ethan while he got some shipping done. Sometimes a shower is a blessed, blessed thing.

After my shower, I offered to drop the packages off for Terral, so Ethan and I went to the post office. He was having such a good time, I decided we might as well go to the nearby park. And the library too, while we were at it. Ethan was just so excited to be out of the house. He was exploring everything. I was glad it was warm enough that we could get some vitamin D without bothering about hats.

Well, after everyone was home again, a miraculous thing happened. Ethan tooted. Okay, that's not really miraculous, but stay with me here. He also started signing "potty", so I took him to the potty. Well, he thought it was cool for a second and played with the duck head, but then he wanted off. I asked him several times if he could go potty again. . .and he did. Who knew a little pee could cause such joy? I called Terral in and there was much celebrating. And a little picture taking. (Yeah, someday he's going to love that I posted this picture. And shared his bodily functions with the world.)

Terral thought we should reward him with something, but we were both stumped as to what for a minute. Then I suggested he be allowed to go outside again. I think that's a reward we can all live with pretty happily. :) It's extra fitting, too, because Ethan's signs for "go outside" and "potty" are pretty much the same thing.
We are pretty proud of our little (big!) 13-month-old.

It may be surprising that we are even trying this when he's so young, so let me explain. My friend Corinne is largely to blame. ;) She told me their experience of potty-training their oldest son. I don't remember exactly how old he was, but he was fairly young. I also can't repeat their whole "method", but the main idea that I got out of it was that they always signed and said "potty" whenever they could tell he was going. One day he signed potty at the appropriate time, so they knew he got the connection, and they started teaching him to go on the toilet. They had some setbacks when baby brother came, but he was still completely trained before he was two.

Later, I learned about elimination communication, which I think is a really cool idea, but I didn't feel comfortable with the idea of committing myself to it. One thing stuck out to me as I was reading a bit about it. One mom who used it said that if you do miss getting them to the toilet before a #2, change them as quickly as possible so they don't get used to sitting in excrement. I thought of all the horror stories I've heard about potty training, and I thought of how newborns cry when they need to be changed. And I realized how it's almost like we train them to sit in their poo and then we get frustrated when we want to mess with what they've learned is the way it's done. (Let me quickly interject that I am in no way trying to judge other parents and their training methods. These are just some thoughts I've had on the subject, and I obviously have very little experience.) So I decided that I would really like to avoid the power struggle if possible, and potty train sooner than later.

So when Ethan started communicating more, we started signing "potty", both when he went as well as when we did. And he picked it up fairly quickly. And then, oh, about a month ago, we realized that he was sometimes even signing "potty" before he went. And since learning things is so fun at this age, we really wanted to take advantage of the stage he was at. So we borrowed a little seat from my parents when we went to visit them. (Yes, I think I was trained on it.) And we started to take him to sit on it when he would make the sign. But we didn't do it every time, and we weren't sticklers about it. The main goal was to get him to make associations and get used to the toilet. So, we're really excited about this step that he's made, and we are definitely going to keep encouraging him, and I will probably take him to the toilet much more frequently than I have up to this point. But we are also not expecting complete potty training any time soon. Not that I would complain if it happened sooner than I think it's likely to. ;)

Wow, this post has turned out to be much longer than I meant it to be. Thanks for sticking with me. :) I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the subject!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Three years ago, my sister-in-law Heather and her sister-in-law Wendy went on a hike at Red Cliffs on President's Day and ended up jumping in the frigid water. A tradition was born. Last year we had a lot of fun at the President's Day Plunge, and we (especially Terral) were really looking forward to going again.

It was so nice to be out in the sunshine for a while, especially since we woke up to blizzard-like conditions the day before. Gotta love Southern Utah!

Ethan was just so excited to get outside and explore. He wasn't feeling super great, so every time I told him not to do something (like play in the river or fire) he had a mini-meltdown, but in spite of all that he really enjoyed himself.

Here he is exploring the water spigot. He's been making an "oh!" face whenever he thinks something is cool lately, which I think is pretty fun.

Terral made him the blue shoes he's wearing over the weekend so he could explore uneven terrain a little better. They didn't come out exactly as he wanted and they're a bit big, but they stayed on and were pretty functional, so we were pretty pleased with them. Not bad for making it up as you go! They are made from PUL material, so they are practically waterproof.

Laura's boys brought some foam swords, and they provided a lot of fun. Zack and Ethan are playing with them in this picture.

I had to have a picture by the funky tree again this year. Maybe that will be a tradition too. ;)

Here's Chris at another fun spot on the trail

He and Zack couldn't resist posing for an epic battle pic.

And even I got in on the sword-playing fun. As Terral later put it, "Don't mess with a woman with a baby on her back!"

When we got to the jumpin' spot, Chris was the first one to jump in. I think I had my camera on the wrong setting, because it wasn't fast enough to catch several of the jumps. In any case, I thought the after pic of Chris was fun. Yes, he jumped in with the sword.

And here's Terral's dad. He dedicated his jump to Jay.

 He says, "It feels goood!"

Next up, newly-weds Mike and Wendy.

Even though Wendy was one of the founders of this tradition, she didn't seem very excited to get in the cold water this year. I think her face says it all. :)

Erin was a little more nervous this year too, since she found out how cold it was last year. She kind of looks like she's bracing herself against the water.

Then it was Heather's turn.

And then it was me!
Yup, all you get is a splash. You can see proof that I jumped when Terral makes the video. I actually wasn't sure I would jump, but I came prepared. I guess I was kidding myself that I was undecided though, because when I asked Terral on the way down if he thought I would jump, he said that I would as if there was no question. 

Speaking of my honey, I missed his jump too, but here he is swimming laps just for fun. Just kidding, he got out of there pretty quick. And then he did a monkey dance from the cold.

I was surprised at how I didn't want my towel right at first. I just wanted to drip and let the sun warm me. Luckily, there was no wind up in that canyon. I was also grateful that my hair dried out quickly.

Here are the soon-to-be-newly-weds Maycie and McKade.

And last, but certainly not least, little Rachel decided to jump in too. And yes, she did have an extra pair of clothes if you were wondering.

If you look behind me in this picture, you'll see a fully clothed gentleman who is rather wet. He was trying to get past the climbing spot with his dog and ended up taking a dunking. When he got out of the water he said, "Don't you all know that water is cold?!" We all laughed a bit and were glad he was okay. His wife just shook her head at him, because she told him not to try it.

This was the first time Terral's parents had been on this hike, so I had to document that they were both there. Unfortunately, the picture didn't turn out great. It was really fun to have them there, though, and I was really proud of them!

When it was my turn to jump, Laura was kind enough to watch Ethan for me. She took the three youngest boys back on the trail a ways to where they could play in the sand.

Can you tell he had fun with the rocks and dirt?

Oh, yes. It was a very fun day. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tired Momma

Well, I don't feel like posting about Monday tonight either. I've felt pretty drained all day, but I had to do a bunch of cleaning because I had lessons today and some of the young men and women were at our house tonight learning to cook. And of course, I had to take care of a sick babe. Patience was not a strong suit for either of us. Poor little guy. 

So, I'm calling it a night. Maybe we'll have a little more energy around here tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Out of the Basement

So, I know I said I'd give more details on our adventure yesterday, but I just want to go to bed. Ethan's still sick, and I think I'm getting it now.

Today was rather monumental. Unshoes now has an official workshop! Terral signed a six-month contract this morning, and we spent the day moving stuff and getting everything all set up. We've talked about renting a place for quite a while, but we couldn't afford it, and it just seemed like it would pose too many obstacles. Well, last week Terral just "happened" to call on a place just after one of their more affordable units became available. They had called everyone on the waiting list, but couldn't get a hold of anyone, so Terral took a look at it. When he came home and told me about it, we just felt like the timing was right. The finances were in place, and orders are picking up, so we really need to be more efficient with production. Going around a house and up and down stairs between production steps is not really a recipe for efficiency.

We will have to get used to Terral not working at home anymore. I told Terral, it will almost feel like he has a regular job now. ;) He replied that he doesn't think he'll ever have a regular job, and I said I'm fine with that.

Anywho, I think Terral's planning on doing a post about the move, so you can see some pictures then. In the meantime, I'm gonna get my hiney to bed. . . if Ethan can stay asleep, poor guy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Too Much Fun

We had a fun adventure today. I'll give some more details tomorrow, but for now let's just say that it resulted in a very tuckered out little boy. He didn't last five minutes in the car.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Choose the Right

We didn't sleep very well last night (Ethan kept crying in his sleep), and what with us being sleepy-heads and the blizzard-like conditions we woke up to, we were late to church. . . again. I found out during primary that I had missed a rather important announcement in Sacrament Meeting. We have a new primary presidency! For now I'm just supposed to continue business as usual, but it will be interesting to see if/what changes they make.  I'm a little bit sad because I felt like things were starting to really work well with the old presidency, but I'm excited for the change too.

Anyway, I've obviously got primary on the brain, so I thought I'd share what we did for Singing Time today.

I've been hanging on to the peek-a-boo game I made for Ethan's birthday party. The theme for primary this year is Choose The Right, and I just knew I could implement it in some sort of activity. On Saturday, I finally figured it out.

We are learning the hymn Choose the Right this month, and I decided to work on the third verse this week. After we did our Article of Faith song and I introduced the wiggle worm jar that I just made, I brought out my cardboard contraption. I had the kids put on their listening ears (they just cup their ears), and I sang the first phrase for them, and then we all sang it together.

Choose the right! There is peace in righteous doing.

Then I picked someone to come up and open up the first two trap doors and we all decided together which choice would bring peace. The first picture shows some kids cheating, and the second one is supposed to be a boy studying.

Choose the right! There's safety for the soul.

The kids were pretty quick to decide that eating a carrot was much safer than smoking a cigarette. 

Choose the right in all labors you're pursuing; Let God and heaven be your goal.

With this one we talked about how money in itself isn't bad, but if we are talking about what you want most in life—your ultimate goals—heaven should be at the top of the list.

After each choice was made, we closed the bad choices and were left with this to remind us as we reviewed the verse. (They learned the chorus last week.)

And here's a picture of the whole thing just in case you wanted to see it.

For the pictures, I just found free clip art online, zoomed in on it till it was the size I wanted, held a blank piece of paper up to the screen, and traced it with a pencil. Then I went over them all with a sharpie. That way I didn't use any expensive printer ink and I didn't have to worry about sizing the clip art or making sure it didn't go all pixelated on me.

The kids had fun with it, and I did too. It wasn't difficult to make at all, but it did take some time, so I wish I knew of someone nearby who would want to use it. Seems a shame to just throw it away. At least the cardboard was used multiple times!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hello from Florida

Unfortunately I'm not the one sending greetings from that sunny location. But I am glad that my parents are having a good time visiting their friends. When I talked to my mom on the phone today, I kind of got the feeling that she was enjoying herself more than she expected to, which made me happy. She sent us all an email with snippets of their week, and she gave me permission to share it here.

Dear Family,
Our first week in Florida is coming to a close.Today, Saturday, Dad and Clair have been busy putting in a new window. Last night Dad did a lot of electrical repair and updating.
On Wednesday Clair took us to Blue Spring State Park, a refuge for the endangered Manatee.
(I'm pretty sure I was talking to my mom on the phone when she took this picture.)

It was a great day with a boat ride on St. Johns river sighting alligators, and lots of birds.

On Thursday we did a session in the Orlando Temple. Clair and Janet go every week.

Then Friday was home repairs, a couple of trips to Homedepot, and game playing. Saturday, the same.
We can hardly believe how great it feels to be here when we think, or see pictures of snow in Utah. It's great being with Clair and Janet, they are taking good care of us. It's also great being able to talk with those who have called.
We love you all Dearly! 
Love, Mom and Dad

I'm so glad they are having such a good time! And even though Dad is doing some odd jobs, there is no houseboat in need of constant attention. ;) I hope Mom and Dad both just have a really wonderful time, because they deserve it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Backlog 12

Ethan had a late nap today and was acting all goofy at bedtime, so I decided to let him stay up a bit and play. I got some really good laughs out of him. :) Then I sat down to find something to write about and settled on Ethan's first trip to Delta. We got some good video of him laughing on that trip, and it was just fun to see how he's changed and how he's still just his happy, joyful self.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Backlog 11

And now you finally get to see our Christmas Tree. . .in February! Aren't you excited? I actually really am. I made a bunch of ornaments this year, and I've been looking forward to sharing. But Terral took the pictures for me on his fancy camera, and the whole blogging process seems to take forever when that happens. Not that I'm complaining. I really like the pictures. :) Thanks again, honey.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

V-Day and the Love Critter

We had a pretty good Valentine's Day, but we definitely didn't go all out. Terral and I counted the award banquet as our date, so we didn't really have anything planned. We did have one activity in mind, but Ethan was kind of being an ornery pants and didn't last long enough in the evening for us all to go out. (He woke up several times last night because of a stuffy nose. Poor kid wasn't feeling well.)

Most of the day was business as usual. Terral and Laura got several pairs of sandals done. Ethan even got in on the action by wiping some of the soles clean. I couldn't get a good shot, but it was really cute. We've got to capitalize on the fact that for now he finds cleaning fun. ;) Start 'em when their young. And while your at it, train 'em in the family business.

Ethan also helped me with dishes. I tied him to a chair because he insisted on being where he could see and participate a bit. I sure love that smile.
The shirt I'm wearing in the above pic is one of several hand-me-downs that found their way into my closet yesterday. (Thanks, Laura!) Inspired by my "new" clothes, I decided to get rid of some clothes I've been holding onto for some reason. Clothes that I never wear, but I kept "just in case". I thought maybe I could make them into something more wearable, but it felt good to finally just get rid of them. Ethan found the bag of clothes, and a sweater was on top. He pulled it out and had so much fun with the pom-poms, I decided to make something out of it for him for Valentine's Day, since I was all lame-o and didn't have anything for my boys beforehand.

So this is what it started out as.

 And this is what it turned into. 

 It's a critter. A lovey-snuggly kind of critter. With long floppy antennae. 

Or a crazy mustache if you change your view.

 I thought maybe Ethan would like to drag it around by the antenna, but he seems to prefer holding it close.

Award Banquet

Last night we went to the banquet honoring the winners of the Best Business Idea Competition. While we were there, Ethan had a blast at Grandma and Grandpa Fox's. I didn't get any pictures because I didn't bring my camera, but it was a very nice evening. We really enjoyed ourselves. There were a lot fewer people than I expected, and it was really laid back. We ended up at a table with a couple from Kanab, and they knew my brother-in-law's family. He is an outdoor rec major, and she is studying graphic design, so we had plenty to talk about. :) They were really nice, so we were glad we got to know them.

Terral said my face was pretty amusing when they brought the main course out. The waiter placed a whole side of beef in front of me. That's what it seemed like, anyway. It was a steak that took up almost the whole plate. If you know me, then you probably know that I'm not much of a meat person. I've never been one for steak. I was really at a loss for a moment or two. Then I cut into it, and oh my, it was pink. I was going to trade Terral, but his was even more pink. I decided to try it anyway so it wouldn't go to waste and I wouldn't go home hungry. It actually tasted good! So I quelled my fears and ate quite a bit of it. Luckily, there was a potato and some vegetables too.

It was interesting to see how people were interested in Terral's business. It seemed like he got more questions than anyone. :) There were some other good business ideas, but I was just beaming over my husband. I like his best. Of course we really must give credit where credit is due. We really had no idea what Unshoes would (or will!) become, and we definitely feel that Someone with a better picture of things has been guiding the process along. We are so grateful for our Heavenly Father.

After the banquet, we went to Terral's parents' house to pick up Ethan. We visited for a bit, and while we were there the snow really started to pick up. By the time we went to bed, it looked like this.

Oh, and I've gone and skipped a most important part of our evening. Bath time. Ethan loves it, and here's proof. :)

Hope you all had yourselves a wonderful evening too!