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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bugga's Tantrums

I wish you could hear this. It's hilarious. He gets sooooo upset each time I let go of one hand. He flops down on his belly and just cries like there's no tomorrow. And the next second, when I let him hold onto my hands again, he's just as pleased as punch. What a funny little man! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bugga is 10 Months Old

Well, I can't believe it. My little guy is just two months shy of being a whole year old! So, in honor of his "morthday" today (that's his monthly birthday, for all who don't know), I thought I would write a little eulogy. It's funny, because I'm sitting here dreading doing this and I'm trying to figure out why I'm dreading it. I think it's because everything I love about Bugga is so spontaneous. I'm afraid that if I try to sit down and remember stuff, knowing my memory, I'll be sitting here staring at a blank screen for a long time. I don't want to miss anything.

Maybe I'll go through a typical day with Bugga. When he wakes up in the morning between 6 and 7am, he's usually pretty vocal, trying desperately and loudly to get my attention and, therefore, his milk. He's not a sleeper-inner, much to my chagrin. He doesn't waste a minute of any day just "chilling." He's a mover! As soon as he finishes nursing in the morning, it's off to the races for him! When I insist on changing his diaper first, he has a fit. And boy can this kid throw fits. He's only 10 months old, but he has tantrums down to an art. But we'll get to that later (yes, this is going to be a long one, go get some popcorn or something). After nursing and getting dressed, Bugga heads out to explore, play, eat paper, bump his head, steal Buddha's cars, explore, play, get dirty, and definitely eat more paper. After about 10 minutes of this, he generally wants to eat solid food. Something about that paper must stimulate hunger. So, I plop him in his little booster seat, pop on the tray, and walk away to find him something to eat. At this point he always starts to cry like I've abandoned him, starving and helpless, in the middle of the desert. The kid seriously has no patience when it comes to food. He'll sit in his chair crying and waving his hands around the whole time I'm preparing his food. When I start to feed him, if I don't shovel it in fast enough, his little hands get going again, waving rapidly from the wrist, and the whining and rocking join to make a pretty formidable mode of communication. I definitely get the message. Which I suppose is the point. Ah, he has me on a tight leash, that boy.

Well, Buddha has usually joined the world by this time of the morning. He'll announce his presence with, "It's light, Mommy (like, don't even try to put me back to bed). I waked up. I sleeped a long time! It's really light!" Bugga becomes torn between eating and following Buddha around like a little puppy dog. Eating usually wins...at least until he's eaten so much I start wondering if my son has that eating disorder where they don't know when they're full. Then I usually force a stop and get his attention diverted away from the food.

And what could be better than food in my dear Bugga's world? Well, taunting his big brother, of course. And he's darn sneaky at it, too. The other day I was talking to Sara while Buddha and Bugga were standing at the couch. Buddha was blocking Bugga from all his lined up (parked) cars. Any time Buddha would step away, Bugga would quickly charge down the couch at full speed to mess up, rearrange, or steal Buddha's cars. As soon as he saw Buddha rushing to the rescue, he would drop everything and high tail it back to the other end of the couch where he would watch Buddha's auto inspection with an innocent expression. The child is truly entertaining (unless you're Buddha, then he's just exasperating).

Bugga is a vocal little fella. He loves to scream if someone will echo him. And he wanders around the house babbling all day long. He can say "da da," but I don't think he really knows what it means yet. He understands a few sign language words like "milk," "food," and "finished." He likes books. Okay, truthfully, he really just likes to eat books. Another favorite source of paper, I guess.

Bugga goes to sleep well and stays asleep well. He's off-again, on-again sleeping through the night. He was doing great last week until he succumbed to the cold I was nursing myself through. I tried so hard to keep it from him, but alas, it was no use. I nurse the kid at least five times a day, for cryin' out loud. There's just no escaping the cold when you're that close that often. So, I guess I'll have to repeat my sleep training with him this week as he gets over his cold. I don't look forward to that, but I do look forward to a solid night of sleep again. It was so nice last week!

Well, the gushing is almost over. You're probably almost out of popcorn, too. Maybe you should go get a piece of chocolate, just to hold you through to the end.

Bugga is my buddy. He has such a definite little personality. He's so opinionated and headstrong. Oh, yeah, that reminds me, I was going to tell you about his tantrums. So, Bugga loves to walk around holding on to my fingers with both hands. But I'm always trying to encourage his development and walking by dropping a finger as he gets going. Uh-uh, oh boy, he will not have it! As soon as my finger drops, he lets go of the other hand, plops to his bottom, rolls onto his tummy with a thud, and starts crying as if I've just performed the greatest injustice in the world. I'll have to try to get it on our camera sometime (no sound, of course, but you'll get the idea). I think it's hilarious. I'm sure he doesn't appreciate it, but I'll do it sometimes just to get kicks (I know, I'm terrible). I guess I marvel that a 10-month-old would even know to do that. Especially when he's never seen anyone else do any such thing. Buddha's tantrums are not so expressive. He usually just cries and screams...no plopping, flopping, or kicking.

So, as I was saying before I interrupted myself with an unavoidable tangent. Bugga is headstrong, but he's also extremely lovable and hugable and cuddly. It's one of my favorite things about him. He'll never hesitate to take a break from exploring and happily crawl into my outstretched arms and hug me, pat me, and slobber all over me.

Well, I can't think of anything else to say, though I'm sure there's much more. Lunch and dinner time are pretty much the same as breakfast - whining and flapping and all. Nap time is beautiful. And bed time is fun. It's fun to add Bugga to our bed time routine. Now we read scriptures with two little boys roaming the bedroom. We say prayers with four little calloused and scraped knees (and four bigger knees) at the bedside. And two sets of teeth get brushed and brushed as the boys giggle through our cajoling "dentist" routine. Daddy reads Buddha a bedtime story and Bugga usually explores, slaps, plucks, and grooms Daddy's face while he's reading.

And now, after the "storm" that is two boys. When all is quiet (except that rustling I hear in the backyard that's freaking me out), here I sit in front of the computer, winding down the day by trying to save a little bit of 10-month-old Bugga in writing. I hope he appreciates this later. But, if he doesn't, that's okay, because it's more for me than it is for him. I'll love reading these when at last I'm unable to bear any more children. I don't ever want to forget my "babies." Well, how's that chocolate? Woah, I said one piece. Slow down there. Sheesh, I'd better get myself a piece before it's all gone. :) Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2001

It's hard to believe this happened six years ago today! What a tragedy and yet, what a reawakening. I remember feeling shocked and numb. It was almost like watching a Hollywood movie. My mind struggled with the knowledge that it was, in fact, real. But in the days that followed the tragedy of September 11, 2001, America proved that good still existed in spades! It was so emotional and inspiring to watch as the nation united in prayer for and remembrance of the fallen, both victims and rescue workers. I've been thinking today about how Buddha and Bugga lived in heaven during this event. I wonder what they were doing and how heaven was responding to the evil and destruction playing out on earth? I've also been thinking about how life has returned to "normal" since that infamous day. I surprised myself by actually remembering that today was the anniversary of 9/11. And I'm a bit sad that remembering came as a surprise. I know, it's a confusing line of thought. Just bear with me. I wonder how many of us make a conscious effort to remember? To me, it's like reading scriptures and saying prayers. I know they are wonderful. I know they bring the spirit into my life and make me truly happy. Doing these things improves my daily life immensely. But I don't always do them. I'll be on fire for days and days: reading scriptures diligently, saying my prayers, feeling close to my Heavenly Father, being a more loving wife and mom, avoiding television trash, serving others, etc. But then something happens, like a long, hard day with the kids, or a dispute with the spouse and I make an excuse like, "I'm too tired to kneel down and pray tonight," and the fire burns out just like that. If I know the benefits and blessings that come with remembering to do these few little things, why is it so hard to stick with it? Why is it so hard to remember such a life-changing event as 9/11? So many people died, so many people risked their lives to save others, so many tragic and inspiring stories that ought to keep the memory alive, but without an effort on my part to remember, all these elements of 9/11 will turn into words on the page of a history textbook and nothing more. What's important in this life is to remember. Even if I have to remind myself to remember. I believe that Heavenly Father wants us to just keep trying. I will be in spiritual trouble if I ever give up trying to do what is right and what is required of me. Just like America will be in trouble if we ever stop remembering. I believe that the events of September 11, 2001, brought out the "religion" in each of us. We felt vulnerable against a very powerful and pervasive evil and called out to our Creator for mercy. We remembered that we need our Heavenly Father. We remembered and, for a moment, remembering made us forget about our selfish, worldly pursuits and desires. Remembering made us good and it made evil shrink. We must remember always and we must be good always. Then, and only then, will we win the fight against evil - a very determined and malicious evil. You know, what I'm really trying to say, though it's coming across quite poorly, is best understood by these words offered by the French Historian, Alexis de Tocqueville. This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. He said:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

And so, I will try to remember. I will remember the feelings of love and peace I have when I am righteous and when I do those things Heavenly Father has asked me to do. And in remembering the blessings that await, I know it will be more difficult to make excuses. I will also remember the feelings of unity and love that came out of the tragedy of September 11, and I will be more tolerant of others, more willing to serve, and more distant from the filth and trash of the world that would make the sacrifices of those who died seem meaningless and wasted. I will be good and hope that it helps to make my beloved country great.

Friday, September 7, 2007


So, many of you have emailed me wondering about how Auntie is doing and how her baby is. Well, they are doing great! Faces is now six months old and he's healthy and happy. Though I haven't met him yet, I do check Auntie and Ratchet's website often for updated pictures. These pictures are some that I stole off of their website. :) Hope you guys don't mind. Buddha loves looking at pictures of his cousin, but I'm sure he'd love to meet him even more. We're working on getting them down here in October to enjoy some California sunshine! We'll see if that pans out. :) Enjoy the pictures of this adorable little man who looks so much like his parents (lucky guy)!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A New Perch

Goofing Around

So, you know those booths in the mall where you can get in together and have tons of pictures taken rapidly and receive a reel of photos when you get out? Well, here's our homemade mall photo booth reel. :) Buddha and I were having some fun with the camera today. I have to say, I think digital cameras are the best invention of the century! :)

Labor Day Festivities!

We had an awesome Labor Day! Well, let's back up for a second. The day before Labor Day was awesome, too. Uncle Gumby and Aunt Sooz were in town and they came over to have dinner with us. Buddha wouldn't let me do anything the whole time Sooz was around. I would ask if he wanted me to get him out of his high chair and he would say, "No, Sooz will do it." He told Sooz she was finished eating, so she could play cars with him. :) I think he has a crush. He loves Aunt Sooz! And Bugga couldn't get enough of staring at Gumby. He did not know what to think of him (last time they met, Bugga was a newborn), so he just kept staring and staring. :) Gumby has a great way with kids. He was doing raspberries on Bugga's neck and flying him over head and making funny faces at him. Bugga was enthralled through it all. :) It was cute. Thanks for visiting, Gumby and Sooz, we loved having you!

On Monday, we got to go to the military beach on Coronado with our friends Heather and Jacoby and their kids Coby and Rett. There were also three other families who came along. We had a great time! Buddha, who was terrified of the ocean last year, did a complete 180, and was having a ball running in and out of the water. In fact, his transformation was so complete, that we were having to keep a reign on him lest he just keep walking...right into the huge oncoming waves. :) Bugga thoroughly enjoyed eating whatever he could get his hands on - an impromptu meal which included such delicacies as sand, seaweed, flip flops, shovels, and [thankfully] a traditional lunch. :) I'm glad The Chief was with me on our first trip to the beach. It was very telling. I don't think I'll be trying the beach on my own for a while. After the beach, all the families headed back to their homes to freshen up, take naps, etc. Then we met back at Heather and Jacoby's house for a Labor Day BBQ, because what summer holiday would be complete without a BBQ?! The kids had a ball with all the great toys and we parents enjoyed the conversation and company. Thanks again to Heather and Jacoby for getting us into the military beach and for hosting a BBQ for all of us! You guys are awesome!

This is my favorite picture of the day!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Just For Fun

These pictures are here and there, this and that, just for fun. Enjoy!

Buddha has dubbed the linen closet his "car." He drives in it. This must be his equivalent of the Smart Car. :) It looks a bit cramped to me.

Buddha has dubbed the cool Stater Brother's shopping cart the "red Toyota truck." He asks to go grocery shopping, just so he can drive this truck with Bugga. Bugga is so cute in this thing! I know I would look absolutely ridiculous, but I almost want to take our video camera to the grocery store next time we go. Bugga gets so into it! His little hands go back and forth, turning the wheel so fast. It reminds me of my Granny when she used to drive - constantly turning the wheel back and forth slightly in order to keep the car going in a straight line (although that's no longer necessary with today's cars). :) Anyway, it makes me laugh so hard to watch Buddha and Bugga in the "red Toyota truck." They are good drivers and you can tell they have a great time!

Climbing around in the stroller frames. Bugga got in there first. He's quite the explorer. :)

Brushing teeth with Daddy.