Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I got a Kindle for Christmas. Two Fish downloaded this book for me before he gave me the kindle because he thought I might like it (and it was free.- The best part of my new Kindle is all of the free public domain books.) So I figured I might as well read it. It was a quick, fun read. There was a part of me that was still picturing everyone as mickey mouse or goofy because the disney movie is still ingrained in my brain from my childhood but even that didn't ruin the story for me. I liked the richness of the descriptions and the details of the character personalities. The way the transformation of Scrooge was portrayed was really lovely. This book is definitely worth reading.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fishy Fun

Red Fish took Gammie and Grandpa to one of her favorite places today- the aquarium.

Petting sting rays

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Super Freakanomics

By Steven D Leavitt and Stephen J Dubner
The results of an economist and columnist researching a random sprinkling of topics. The authors explore how incentives matter and how actions have unintended consequences. I enjoyed the chapters on global warming and car seats the most. It was entertaining and well written but the research feels random for randomness sake. They were trying a little too hard this time. I liked the book but not nearly as much as the first one. Maybe it's because it isn't as much of a surprise to me this time around and I've been reading a lot of Malcolm Gladwell. His work is very similar.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Random After Christmas Fun

After a fun Christmas we are totally worn out around here. We've spent the day slowly putting away Christmas gifts and playing with a lot of fun new toys and having random fun.Red Fish got tub markers and tub fingerpaints (they turn into bubble bath when you run the water,) in her stocking. Obviously the proper way to use them is to put on a bathing suit, snorkel, and mask.
This little baby thinks her Daddy is REALLY funny.

Highlights From Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Our first Christmas as a family of four!I mean five.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Childhood Magic

We sprayed diluted watercolors on the snow today. You can't see the color on the snow because Blue Fish made it his business to run through it everytime we would color some snow. It was fine because Red Fish thought it was funny.
Discovering icicles for the first time.
Dress Up
When Red Fish found this Cinderella dress in New Fish's closet she was so excited. We immediately had to play dress up. I had quite a time trying to convince Red Fish that I needed to help her dress the baby. After they were both outfitted they sat on the big stuffed dog and had a nice chat like the glamorous little women that they are.
You would think a little baby would hate playing dressup, especially because she isn't fond of getting dressed in the morning. New Fish must have just loved the attention or something because she was having a great time. It's moments like this that make me so excited to have two little girls. I hope they will always be little buddies.
Red Fish is always glamorous. The few dress ups we have are getting used almost daily along with all of my scarves. The mirror in the toy room gets used quite a bit as well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Print Making

I cut pieces of foam out of takeout trays. Then Red Fish drew on them with a pen. It was hard for her to press hard enough to leave grooves.
Then we covered them in paint.
and pressed a paper over the top to make a print. This would all go much smoother and look better if we had ink brayers, but we don't. We just used sponge brushes to put the paint on and smoothed the paper with our hands.
We must have made 30 prints in about 45 minutes. I finally had to cut Red Fish off. She decided after the first five or so that she really liked the printing part and made me do all the painting. After I covered the tile in paint, Red Fish would put the paper on, rub it real hard, and we would have a count down for each big reveal followed by a round of applause. Then Daddy (who was trying to watch football- silly daddy) would have to ooh and ahh over each one.
As for New Fish- she has been doing a lot of hanging out
and playing with her sister.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rolling Over

This little baby rolled over from her tummy to her back last night for the first time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Little Drummer Girl

Wrapping paper roll full of rice and some things to beat on. What could be better? Yes, she is wearing her blankie as a dress.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Holiday Has Begun

Red Fish has started noticing that this Santa guy keeps popping up a lot. He is in some of her Christmas books and hanging on the tree. She's been pointing him out for the last few weeks. It was time for her to meet the big guy for the 2nd time. It ended up being a little bit of a weird picture but still something fun. We went to the dive shop to see Santa this year. He was kind enough to interrupt his dive for a quick picture with us. He was doing underwater shots but the girls are too young. Red Fish was totally awed by Santa. She kept clapping her hands and giving him five. Much better experience than last year.
Every year Two Fish's side of the family makes gingerbread houses. We all get together and let the kids go wild with little houses, frosting, and candy. This was Red Fish's second attempt. It went about the same as last year but this time I actually made her a house. Well, my version of made is buying a kit at the grocery store. I can't see spending all that time baking gingerbread when nobody ends up eating the actual houses anyway. I actually really considered just hot gluing the thing together when the frosting wasn't sticking very well last night. The frosting is great for the candy but not so great for the structure.
As you can see the candy is serious business.
Red Fish was so excited when she saw her little house. She wanted to play with it and when I told her we had to save it so we could put candy on it her eyes got huge. A little house and candy? Red Fish was mostly interested in tasting each piece of candy before she put it on the house. I was actually kind of surprised any of the candy even made it on the house. She had a good time.
This week I got to go on TWO dates with my husband. It was a treat. My brothers both gave me a night of babysitting for my birthday. (That is always a fabulous gift.) First on Wednesday we went to a benefit dinner for Two Fish's mom's chorale. It was fun. Good food and a fun Christmas concert. Thursday night I got to go to girl's night with my friends from my old neighborhood. I've been spoiled this week. Then last night Two Fish and I went out to celebrate his birthday. We went to a Middle Eastern restaurant. It was fun because I love to order tapas and taste new things without committing to a huge meal that could be weird. Then we went to see A Christmas Story at a local theatre company. I'm not a huge fan of the movie but the play was really fun. It was just fun to be out of the house with my husband. Brother M said the girls were really easy to take care of but he warned me Red Fish's new discovery of the piano key and yes she does know how to unlock it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Matching

Red Fish loves to tickle New Fish. She can get New Fish laughing pretty good.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Feeling The Squeeze

We've been running around like crazy people lately and feeling the squeeze trying to fit things in. Red Fish wanted to do some sort of activity and so we did something random. We filled an old ketchup bottle full of a goopy paste (equal parts: flour, water, and salt and a little coloring.) Then Red Fish just squeezed it and squeezed it all over a piece of cardboard. The squeezing is good for her motor skills development. I've noticed when we use some of our squeezable paints etc. it is kind of tricky. After she was done squeezing she finger painted in the goop for a bit. It actually wasn't a bad cleanup. I just threw the cardboard away (with most of the goo) and cleaned her hands and whiped off the table. Red Fish hasn't been feeling quite like her energetic self lately though so it might have gotten out of control if she had put more energy into it. I'm really missing summer and using the garden hose for cleanup.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Three Months

Well New Fish is three months old. The time is speeding past us at an ever increasing rate. She is a very smiley baby especially if you are smiling at her. She also has the gift of gab. Yesterday I had a meeting at work and New Fish sat on my lap the whole time and kept a running conversation going the whole time. New Fish likes to eat and when she is hungry, she is HUNGRY RIGHT THIS INSTANT!!! She is very interested in her sister and loves to sit by her and have Red Fish dote on her. Red Fish has started trying to pick her up which freaks me out. New Fish is a snuggler and wants to be held at all times. She isn't sleeping for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time so we've had a lot of long nights. I'm hoping now that she has some reserve tanks built in to those chubby cheeks we might all start getting a little more sleep. But the one good thing about getting her out of her cradle is how happy she is to see me. She snuggles me the whole time I am giving her the bottle. She's a little sweetie.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Music & Mobile

My grandparents gave our family this book as an early Christmas present. It's awesome. It has all of the best LDS songs from the hymn book, children's song book and other songs put together with paintings. Red Fish LOVES it. She wants to play piano all day long right now. She loves picking out a song and looking at the picture. She even made Two Fish play the piano with her when he got home from work today (he doesn't read music but she doesn't care.) Then she would pick a song, play furiously on the piano and have him sing to her accompaniment. Santa is bringing Red Fish another songbook and some CDs that I'm hoping will help with my new years resolution to do more daily musical activities with Red Fish. I think it's going to be a lot harder than doing art activities with her.

Red Fish showing her project to Blue Fish
Today we painted more watercolor paintings onto bleeding paper shapes using brushes and eye droppers. I'm pretty sure Red Fish could do this everyday. Then we stapled them onto a mobile.
Making some last minute adjustments
(Notice she is wearing two aprons.)

The Three Musketeers

by Alexandre Dumas

There have been some high fevers and sad babies around here lately. I've spent a lot of time holding my girls and laying in bed watching Little Einsteins (kill me now) episodes over and over. So I had a chance to read most of this book in a few short days.

This story of duels, war, court intrigue, and warped romance didn't loose my attention once in the over 700 pages. That is no small feat. The main characters are multifaceted and richly developed. I love that the characters are for the most part , an interesting mix of good and evil. The narrative is fast paced and draws you into the story. This book is a good example of why some books are classics. It wasn't quite as good as The Count of Monte Cristo but I'm definitely a fan of Dumas.

The protagonist D'Artagnan, a young Gascon, arrives in Paris with the dream of becoming one of the King's musketeers. He quickly finds himself set to duel Athos, Porthos and Aramis, three of the king's regiment. The four become inseparable friends and find themselves sucked into a power struggle between church and state, a war between England and France and other various intrigues and exploits.

The most dangerous of their adventures involves one of the Cardinal's spies, Milady de Winter, one of the most cunning and seductive female villains in literature. She is positively evil, the only character in the book without a mix of good and evil. The four musketeers are constantly trying to outwit and catch her. A long and twisted plot doesn't dissapoint. My one minor complaint is the long story of Milady's imprisonment tends to drag a tiny bit but the book is still wonderful overall.

I wish they would make this book into a movie (not a disney movie) along the lines that they did my favorite novel, also by Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.

Monday, December 14, 2009


New Fish has been sleeping in my baby cradle for the past few months. My great grandfather B made it for me when I was born. Between the cradle and using a blanket my great grandma T made me for New Fish's blessing I've been thinking a lot about the memories I have of my great grandparents. I had three great grandparents until I was 8 and then they all passed pretty closely together.

My Great Grandpa B was a world war 1 veteran. They interviewed him on television once when I was little and I was so proud. My favorite memories of him include trying to stand just far enough away from his big arm chair to stay out of his reach but he'd always grab me anyway and hug me so hard I swear my ribs all touched in the front. He always insisted that my piggy bank was hungry and he would give me coins to feed it out his brown coin purse. I have the piggy bank he gave me on a shelf in Red Fish's room. He had this paperweight with a flower in the center of it on his piano when I was growing up that I thought was the most beautiful thing in the world. It sat next to a dried fish. The fish was scary. I have the paperweight in a keepsake box. He used to go see the lights downtown with us when I was really little and we'd push him around in his wheel chair. He'd have a big Christmas party every year and when I think about what the Christmas season should feel like I think of that party. Tons of family stuffed in a house singing around the piano. I remember going to his garden when I was really little and eating tomatoes (which i still hate) because he told me he would cry if I didn't like his tomatoes. He had a rock polisher and he let me polish the ugliest rocks with it and made them seem like gems. I have a very clear memory of my eighth birthday and Grandpa B (who was 95 at the time) took me on his lap and told me that he wanted me to remember talking to him that day for the rest of my life because he wasn't going to be around forever. I don't totally remember exactly what he told me other than he bore his testimony to me but I do remember feeling very loved.

My great grandpa T was a quiet man. I don't remember him talking very much. He'd always have someone take me out to see his horses. He had two big jars of mints next to his chair. One was full of pink mints and one full of white. I went a few times on the trip down South with my grandparents to visit my grandma and grandpa T. I always felt special like it was such a "big kid" thing to do. They had pink flamingoes in their yard year round and a wooden rudolph reindeer in their living room. There were a lot of doilies. My great grandpa T was the grand marshall of the 4th of July parade one year and I remember going to see him. I ate so much candy I threw up the whole drive home. Grandma T made my Bockum drive down to see her shortly before she died just so he would bring me a porcelain doll she wanted me to have. It means the world to me. I wrote a poem about my Grandpa after he passed about how sad I was that he had gone to heaven and I read it to Great Grandma T. I remember her wrapping her arms around me and telling me how much she loved me. When I got married my Bockum had a special doily that my great grandma had crocheted and asked him to save for my wedding day. She passed away 13 years before I got married.

These are random memories but I feel so lucky to have had so many grandparents in my life. I really hope my girls get the chance to know their great grandparents as well as I knew three of mine. They are so lucky to have so many people who love them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Elves

Photos by my sister in law A. We were making tutus the other day and she took a few pics of the Christmas elves that live here.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Today my love turns 30. He was saying that he didn't want to be 30 and I was telling him that he should be proud that he has accomplished so much in the past 30 years. So I'm going to brag on him.

1. He is a wonderful father to Red Fish and New Fish. He has helped bring children into our family through both adoption and birth. He let me get a dog even though he wasn't a fan and he takes really good care of Blue Fish. It's like having a 3rd child. He spends a lot of time with me and the girls. He's a great family man.

2. He has an eternal marriage (to me) He's a wonderful husband. He has put up with me for 7 years. (6+ years of marriage.) In a world full of broken marriages and unhappy people I found one of the good ones and being that kind of husband is an accomplishment.

3. He was accepted into the college of his choice and received a degree in information systems. He has learned several new computer languages and is constantly teaching himself new skills. He is always pushing himself to improve and learn. He took the GMAT and did very well.

4. He has a good job and provides well for his family. He took a job doing technical support over the phone in college even though he HATES talking on the phone and he prepares big presentations for work voluntarily even though he hates talking in front of people. He works hard both at work and at home.

5. He got his scuba certification. This was a very big deal when we got married. He has several technical scuba diving certifications. He has gotten certifications I don't even have and really stretched himself.

6. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- joined 22 years ago. He attends church regularly and served a mission to the Philippines. He lived abroad for 2 years and speaks Tagalog fluently.

7. He is athletic. He was an all star football player in high school. He was also on the track team. He also allowed me teach him to ski after we got married.

8. He (well we) have bought two houses in the last 4 years. We have a nice home to raise our children in.

9. He has traveled to some cool places.

10. He has a good relationship with his mom and siblings. He treats people with respect. He has been good to my family.

I think my husband is wonderful. I feel lucky to wake up next to him everyday and I look forward to spending the next 3o years of his life with him. Happy Birthday baby!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Painting On Canvas

A masterpiece in the making.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dear Iris

Red Fish got her first letter from her new art pen pal. A two year old in Arizona. They are both signed up for this through a fellow blogger. They send eachother art. Red Fish was thrilled with the hand tracings she got in the mail and immediately made a reply to send back. I think it's really cute.