Sunday, April 27, 2008

Graduation celebration

My brother-in-law Uchenna graduated from BYU with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering this weekend. Much of the family showed up to congratulate and celebrate. Including the family here in Utah, my sisters from California came with their families, and my Mom. I'm sure everyone else was here in thought.

Thursday night 34 of us met at the Smalley's home for dinner. It was the epitome of "organized chaos." The evening was very fun and exciting.

After Dominic came home from work on Friday night, we made the trek down to Orem for the reception. It was the first time I met Uchenna's parents, and they seemed very pleased and proud of their son. But then, who wouldn't be?

We arrived home just in time for Dominic to get to bed (he has to wake up at 5 am on Saturdays.) The time was too short. I don't know when I'll see everyone again, especially Jen and Uchenna, who moved to Oklahoma. The distance between us makes me more grateful for telephones and email.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mini vacation

Before I begin, I just want to mention that Elisa took 2 steps to Sammy last night and still refuses to walk to me. (sigh)

Last week we took a day trip to Salt Lake City. We forgot how to get to the zoo, so instead we went to Liberty Park and fed 2 loaves of bread to the ducks, geese and seagulls. Dominic was able to get some geese and ducks to eat out of his hand. We had lunch at the cafe, where our kids amused everyone. Sammy told people his name is Clever Me. Why? I don't know. Probably the same reason he used to tell people he was Bug Bug Green Bean.

Unfortunately we had to drop off Dominic at work. So I took the children to the Bountiful temple and explained that Daddy and I were married there. The weather was beautiful, and we enjoyed playing on the grass.

We went to see a movie, and everyone (but me) fell asleep on the drive over. We arrived early enough to give them a half hour nap. We watched "Nim's Island," and I enjoyed it. The boys liked it, too, but the hurricane scenes scared Benjamin.

Sammy wanted to eat dinner at Applebee's to see the talking apple, like in the commercials. There were a lot of apples but none talked. I'm going to brag: we all had enough to eat and the bill, plus tip, came to $15. Yeah, I know how to order.

We spent the rest of the evening at the mall. I finally found the play place in an obvious spot, after walking all over the mall. In my defense I had another mall layout in mind and kept missing it.

Then we picked up Dominic from work and met a couple of his co-workers. One of them was trying to be funny and sat in our car, saying "Ok, let's go." Benjamin was too tired and cried a lot. She felt bad and kept apologizing for traumatizing him.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Elisa is walking!

Yesterday she started walking! Lisy was free-standing in the living room. Dominic went over to her and encouraged her to walk to him. She did. 3 whole steps. Dominic picked her up and hugged her, and she smiled really big. When I tried to get her to walk to me a few minutes later, she just fell in my direction.

This morning the kids were supposedly getting dressed but were actually wrestling. Elisa was right in there with the boys, climbing over them and laughing.

She is also sort of talking. There have been several times when she said "Mama," but usually when she's complaining. She also says "Dada," usually when she's happy and playing. So she might just be babbling.

Movie review: Bride and Prejudice. On the recommendation of my sister Emily, I rented this movie and loved it! Dominic likes the LDS version better, though. It's amazing how Jane Austin's story is timeless and universal. The boys were confused when the first musical number began. "Why are they dancing in the street?" asked Sammy. We should watch more musicals.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday snapshot

We had a wonderful day. Here are some of the highlights.

Elisa almost took a step, but I think she just steadied herself while standing up, which she does more frequently. During sacrament meeting, she played under the pew with a ball she found.

Benjamin went to nursery without a hitch (yea!). He didn't even notice I left. This afternoon he pretended to be Nephi and kept breaking his bow. Tonight he was not tired at bedtime due to a long nap. After the other two were asleep, Benjamin and I read books. I don't often get one-on-one time with him, so tonight was very sweet.

Sammy prefers to hold the left side of the stroller when we cross a street during our evening walks. Who knows what's wrong with the right side? Last night (not today, but it was funny) we went to a spaghetti dinner at church. On the way out they gave us left-over spaghetti in a ziplock bag, and Sammy went around showing everyone the "dead worms."

Preparing dinner tonight I sang and danced around the kitchen. The kids are used to it and think I'm silly. If they were 10 years older, they'd probably roll their eyes and leave the room. But for now they're happy watching me have fun.

After dinner we had about half an hour until bedtime. I gave the boys 2 options: go on a walk or play "World of Warcraft." They unanimously and emphatically chose the walk. I was impressed.

Dominic will be calling me soon, once he gets out of work. Normally he can come home and relax, knowing the next day is his rest day - he catches up on his missed sleep. He's working tomorrow, so I hope he can still relax.