Thursday, December 31, 2009

Choo Choo

Ben's former best friend, blanky, has nearly been displaced by the newest member of our toy family. Thomas the Tank Engine, affectionately known as "Choo Choo," must be in the room with Ben at all times. And he must be on. He must be talking, otherwise the only thing we hear for the next hour is, "Uh-oh, Choo Choo! Choo Choo! Uh-oh! Uh-oh!"

However, this is no ordinary Choo Choo.

Thomas the Tank Engine has four settings: On, Off, Follow Me, and Try Me. In both On and Follow Me modes, Thomas is skillfully trained to follow your voice. When Choo Choo is talking, Ben is very happy and affectionately talks to him, saying "Yay, Choo Choo! Yay!" which of course triggers Choo Choo to follow him around if he is set to either of these modes.

Chaos ensues.

When Choo Choo moves, Ben screams with terror. Nothing has ever set him off so much. He breaks down, convulsing on the ground, screaming and crying, which then corrects Thomas' direction and follows him. Ben views this as an assault. He'll run away, screaming, and will stand behind a door frame, waiting for Mommy and Daddy to fix Choo Choo, which, of course, we do. Choo Choo only belongs on Try Me mode because he doesn't move on this setting.

Almost immediately when the train has stopped moving, Ben says, "Yay, Choo Choo! Yay!" and runs over to play with him. Ultimately, Ben will turn the train over, play with his switch, and turn it to either mode that follows him. Chaos ensues, and the process continues.

Ben loves Choo Choo so much that he doesn't want him to be lonely at night. Two nights ago, we put Choo Choo to bed on his shelf with a blanky and told Ben "Choo Choo go night night!" Ben affectionately patted Thomas' blanky and kept getting up to check and see if he was okay, then stole his blanky.

I guess blanky is still Ben's best friend.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Best (Cold) Roast Beef Sandwich

I am a huge fan of French Dip Sandwiches. I think they are the most delicious delicacy ever derived of hot shaved beef placed on bread. Particularly when you buy this delicacy at Houston's and it's made from shaved prime rib, cooked to a perfect medium rare... ahhh....


These were definitely one of the most popular menu items, and my mouth watered every time I had to deliver it. Every. Time.

Anyway, back to the purpose of my post, I consumed the best COLD roast beef sandwich today. My creative mother-in-law, Kari, made it just for us. It was made of:
  • Light Rye Bread
  • Roast Beef
  • Cream Cheese (as the spread)
  • Cucumber
That was it. And it was AMAZING! The tangy-ness of the rye in combination with the sweet cream cheese, crisp cucumber, and tender beef was incredible.

I am a picky eater. I don't try new things often. One bite of this put me in sandwich heaven! Ruffles potato chips went with it perfectly (who doesn't like ridges?). I will most definitely be making this sandwich at home. Every time I try some combination of things and it tastes great, I think of dear Remy from Ratatouille, screaming about infinite combinations of flavors to explore...

I had this experience today. Anyone have a moment like this recently?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Medical Bills

I casually mentioned it in October, but I didn't really say much else about it. Ben had a hernia. Never again will I joke about "giving myself a hernia" in such a light manner. :) Ben's was the size of an egg and sat right between his hip and well... you know. He whimpered the whole time. We rushed him to the emergency room and he had to be sedated before they could push his intestine back in. Yes, that's the treatment for a hernia. You just push it back in. (?!?)

2 1/2 weeks later he had follow-up surgery to close the abdominal wall. After the initial pain of recovery in the hospital, we brought him home and he acted as though nothing had happened! With no pain relievers! All in all, the surgeon was great, the hospital was pretty nice, and recovery was amazingly easy. He healed perfectly.

My issues happened mid-November, two weeks after Ben's surgery. That included a few doctor's visits, blood tests, plus an ultrasound exam at the hospital.

Trouble is, our amazing, awesome, new employer-provided insurance didn't start until December1st.

We had private PPO insurance that was pretty good for every-day sort of care, but pretty awful for anything remotely serious. It also didn't have maternity coverage. Now, the bills are coming in...

Fortunately, the hospital is AWESOME and doesn't charge interest for 16 months, and we've already paid quite a bit in deposits for services from the hospital and Ben's surgeon. Because of this, we've almost paid the entire copay for the year within a month and a half. I'm also hoping that, because I thought I was miscarrying, it won't count as maternity care (I hope, I hope). We'll see.

We had the foresight to have a lot of money saved up, and that has been amazing since we can pay bills as they come. We also have amazingly supportive family members.

I know I've said "awesome" and "amazing" a lot in this post, but that's how this situation has been. I haven't felt overwhelmed. I've never felt so calm or that my family is so safe and well taken care of. The peace has been incredible. I almost didn't notice it until I started tallying up all the things going on right now; they should be overwhelming, and yet... things feel fine. Has that every happened to you?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ultrasound #2 Results

I got the results... are you ready???

We have a heartbeat! It was thumping away at 160 beats per minute, which is great! Very normal. I am 7 1/2 weeks today, which makes my due date:

June 23rd, 2010

Hip hip, hooray! Now, for the "interesting" news.

The blood clot has gotten bigger. It's gone from 4cm to 6 cm. This could cause spotting and puts me at a higher risk for miscarriage. It could pass or just disappear. I've been told that I just need to take it really easy; no recreational activities or exercise. Hopefully this will just resolve itself.

The cyst on my right ovary is 4cm. To me, that seems kind of big. The good news is that ovarian cysts produce hormones that benefit pregnancy, so this isn't necessarily "bad" news at all, and my doctor wasn't really worried about it.

So, there we go. Things are progressing well! Hearing the words "good" and "normal" come out of my doctor's mouth made me want to laugh and cry and dance. I'm feeling much more optimistic now that I'm being scheduled for regular prenatal exams. There's that word again: "regular." Awful close to "normal." :) Two weeks till my next appointment!

No ultrasound pictures, but they probably look weird anyway. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ultrasound #2

Today's ultrasound stunk. I have no news.

The technicians were nice and everything, and they made me feel comfortable, but they're not allowed to say anything. At all. I couldn't even watch the screen. It's a new "policy." So, I know nothing.

Well, I take that back. I know they measured from "crown to rump," but that was the extent of the lingo I could understand, since the rest of their communication was using acronyms most of the time.

They did an external and internal exam. The internal exam took forever and my legs started shaking and twitching because I had to hold them in a flexed position for about 20 minutes. One of the technicians helped me hold it in position. :) I'm a weakling, I guess. Maybe it's because I'm tall?

They will report the results to my doctor in 2-3 days. I just wish I had been able to watch. Maybe I could have seen the heartbeat. I don't know; maybe they only take that many measurements if the baby is viable? Or maybe it's protocol that they measure everything every time no matter the situation? This is only my third ultrasound, the first of which was significantly less frustrating and much more informative, since the technician was a nurse and could tell us everything we were looking at. Last time's was awful. She was really shy about being around my only-covered-with-a-sheet-lower-body, and almost fell over trying to shield her eyes when I had to adjust the sheet. Not that I was flashing her or anything, but I would think that usually people who are around ultrasound equipment, or any medical examination equipment, are more familiar with the idea that people have to be halfway exposed for medical examinations. Maybe it's just me. :)

My doctor is very good about calling anytime she has anything to report, so I know she'll let me know as soon as there's something to tell us. Let's hope it's two days and not three.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas is Just Around the Corner!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....


We decorated our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. It's just a little four footer we got the first Christmas we were married and I love it. I miss the fresh, clean smell of a real tree, but seriously, we just can't afford a $100 purchase for something that dies in one month.

We've begun the tedious task of unpacking and cleaning pretty much every thing we own. Jessica, my best friend from High School, came over on Saturday and she and I did the entire living room. I'd forgotten how many books we had! I found my Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings, plus all my Jane Austen novels and The Wheel of Time. I am in novel heaven!

As part of unpacking, we set up Ben's crib into a toddler bed. He loves it! He puts himself to bed now!


He also loves watching movies. We really have to limit him because, if he had his way, he'd watch movies all day. Here he is watching his newest favorite, Cars. He says, "Vroom, vroom!"



Through unpacking, I found my old camera with these pictures on it:



Last year I made my Mom this table centerpiece for my floral design class. These are silk flowers. I also made my Mother-in-law a fresh centerpiece, too. Centerpieces all around last year.

I also thought I would share some news with you. I didn't want to post about what's been going on, but things are taking longer than we thought and it's too difficult not to post about it.

We found out I was pregnant about a month ago and we were excited, but didn't tell anyone. Usually, you're supposed to "wait" until a safe amount of time has gone by, I guess so you can keep an early miscarriage to yourselves. I, however, am a blabbermouth and told my Mom, Mother-in-law, and my two local Sisters-in-law shortly after we found out. Two weeks ago, I started bleeding heavily during Church and thought I had miscarried (it was a lot of blood). Picture it: crying uncontrollably in the bathroom with your Mother-in-law while ladies are coming in trying to take a bathroom break before Relief Society. Yes, everyone in my In-law's ward knew.

The bleeding slowed down, so I didn't go to the emergency room and I went to the doctor the next day. She thought I had miscarried and that, since it was this early, it was a chromosomal issue that I had no control over. Testing, testing, and more testing and an ultrasound...

Guess what? I was still pregnant. I was five weeks along. There was no heartbeat. I had a 4 cm blood clot at the attachment site of the placenta. Hormone levels were not increasing as quickly as they wanted. HOWEVER... everything I just mentioned can be completely normal (except the last one). At five weeks, you can't see the heartbeat. You're not supposed to be able to see it until a solid six weeks. A blood clot at the attachment site is also common. The clot can either pass or can be absorbed into the uterus. The biggest problem it could pose is that it could be taking nutrients away from the placenta. Hormone levels are supposed to be increasing like crazy. My levels are increasing, but not as much as they should be. That is the most nerve-wracking part of all this. It could indicate something is wrong.

I have a scheduled ultrasound tomorrow to determine how things are going and what's going on. We're hoping and praying for the best.

Things are a little strange for me. It's hard not to get really excited, and I feel like I should be excited, but for more than 24 hours I thought I had had a miscarriage. I went through mourning for this little baby. I thought I had lost someone. It's just really difficult to get excited when so many things could still go wrong. Stranger yet, though I'm only seven weeks, my body has started changing already. I have a bump. That's just weird, because I've been telling myself that this pregnancy isn't a big deal and that it's okay if something goes wrong (sad, but easier to deal with). With my body acting like everything is fine and progressing in size as quickly as it is, it makes it feel like it would definitely be not fine if something happened. I'm just scared.

So, that's what's going on. I'll update as soon as I know anything.

In some distracting news, Stephen and I are singing in a choir this weekend for our Stake's Creche Festival. It's a display of over 1,000 nativity scenes with performances. I am so excited to be performing again! If you'd like to attend, email me at lisha[underscore]lacey[at]hotmail[dot]com for directions to the festival. We're performing Saturday at 7:00, but there will be performances starting around 5:00 and the festival is also on Thursday and Friday evenings. It's going to be so amazing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon and Some Great News...


I went, like a crazy person, to New Moon's opening night at the 12:04 a.m. showing. With lots of screaming teenage girls. Lots. Despite the squeals that emitted from their mouths everytime Jacob or Edward showed up on screen (frequently shirtless), I must say that I absolutely loved the movie (and I have to admit a squeal or two came from my mouth, too).

My senior course of study in college was focused on fantasy literature and it's adaptation to film, and ever since, my love and appreciation of adaptation has only increased. What surprised me the most about New Moon was how incredibly faithful the movie was to the book. This shocked me a little, since the director was Chris Weitz, who directed the diabolically adapted The Golden Compass, a flop in both sales and fan reception. I read an interview with him this morning that basically said that all creative control on The Golden Compass was taken away from him and he has had a hard time recovering from that experience. Poor Chris Weitz. At least New Moon is the kind of movie that's going to make fans incredibly happy. Unfortunately, anyone not into the series might not "get it." I guess I should drag Stephen and see what he thinks. :)

And now... the great news...

We have moved into an apartment! We moved in our boxes last night and I'm going in to sanitize and line cabinets today with my mom. Hooray! Pictures soon to come.

And speaking of pictures... I FOUND MY CAMERA! It seems that whenever I blog about something I can't find, it shows up shortly thereafter. Anyway, hope you have a great day! Pictures to come! Yay!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Poor, Missing Camera

I haven't seen my camera in a while. It could be pretty much anywhere, which is why this blog has been so boring lately! It's a terrible, terrible thing.

Because we've been living all over the place, our stuff is, well, all over the place. We have our crib, dresser, mattress, and one computer at my in-laws. My wedding dress, sewing machine, old baby clothes, rocker, and Wii are at my parents'. Everything else is in storage, unless it's in our car. not to mention the little knick knacks in any of these places. THUS, the camera is somewhere in limbo between all these homes we've had!

The good news: we are planning on getting our own place, really and truly, THIS MONTH! Hooray! I'm so excited! It's like Christmas is coming early! Imagine all the stuff I'll find...

One thing I've learned through all of this is how unimportant "stuff" is. Many of the things we own are beautiful, and I love them (like platinum edged china, fluffy blue towels or the kitchen aid mixer), but life has been just as wonderful and fulfilling without these things. If we had to give up everything in that storage unit and never see it again, life would be fantastic, if not better in some ways (not that I really want that to happen). I'm just grateful I got to have my family down to the simplified, bare bones for a little while.

Ben and I went to Disneyland yesterday with Liz and had a blast! Here's a picture from the Buzz Lightyear ride:



No, Ben didn't actually hit a target; I helped him a little. :)

Have a great day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ridiculous Medical Happenings

The Swine Flu may be in our house, but so far Ben is unscathed. We have about 5-6 more days of potential incubation time, but after that we should be in the clear. Ben's pediatrician prescribed a treatment that either treats the flu if he has it or helps make symptoms less severe, should he get the flu later. I am so grateful that Ben and I are still healthy (Stephen caught it, though).

HOWEVER...

Last night Ben had a hernia! A real, whimpering, grimacing, arching-the-back kind of hernia! It happened very quickly and was really scary because of its location. It was just above the groin area and the size of an egg.

Ben has a history of groin area problems that had to be resolved with surgery, so seeing more wrong with his lower abdomen was frightening. Fortunately, with a little sedation, the emergency room doctor was able to push the herniated intestine back into his abdomen. All that's left now is a follow up surgery to close the abdominal wall. My poor little baby.

However, he's been blissfully asleep for about 8 hours now, so I think he's feeling pretty good. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oink, Oink

My Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law both have swine flu! Ahh!

I'm a little worried about Ben since he took two long naps and has been sluggish overall today.

Hopefully things are fine.

We're taking him to the doctor to get a treatment that makes symptoms less severe should they appear.

Okay, I lied. I'm very worried.

But things will be fine.

For anyone else struggling with this sickness, may God bless you and watch over you.

Now, for a laugh:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Costume Ideas

Is it so bad that I am an addict to others' blogs and then do nothing about contributing to the conversation?

Yes, yes it is that bad.

In my English classes they taught us that if you are not a contributor to a conversation, i.e. not providing new insights or information, you are not really a part of that conversation. That principle definitely applies to blogging. So, I have a new goal: be a part of the conversation. Provide something new everyday. So, here we go (again).

Yesterday I made bouquets for my cousin's wedding on Friday. They turned out absolutely gorgeous (gerbera, statice, alstromeria, and carnation with leatherleaf) and she was so excited about them. It was so nice to do floral design again. I loved the class and I was so happy to do something for her wedding since I will be out of town this weekend: in UTAH!

I AM SO EXCITED! I never thought I could be so excited about going back to Utah when it's going to be cold. But I look forward to seeing my beloved Wasatch range and, even more, seeing some of the best friends in the world. *Sigh.*

Halloween, in my opinion, is one of the best holidays there could possibly be. Dressing up? Candy? Carven squash? I'm in! This year Ben is going to be... Indiana Jones! We got the hat and everything! (Plus, an awesome looking whip). Now the real trouble is what Stephen and I are going to be. Stephen thinks he'll be Indiana Jones Senior, but then what does that make me? The German Fraulein from The Last Crusade? Inappropriate much? Haha. Maybe I'll just be a princess.


Actually, I was leaning more toward this princess:

And Stephen could be:
And we'll have an Indiana baby... yeah, that works. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lucky

Ben is playing with the tub. Not in it, but with it. He's putting water into his bucket, then pouring it onto his foam letters. And he is giggling like crazy and saying over and over, "A, E, I . . . A, E, I . . ."

Recently I've been thinking about how lucky we are. We have two sets of parents, still young and kicking, who have been more than willing to let us stay with them for extended periods of time. Ben gets opportunities to be with both sets of grandparents almost every week. They have supported us through what has been the most stressful part of our marriage to date (because of unemployment) and made it some of the happiest memories I have. How grateful I am.

I started being a pen pal with my Grandma Vivie this last month. She married my Grandpa Hansen when I was little. I have discovered an amazing woman- someone beyond the Grandma I grew up with. She is so supportive and sweet. She helped teach me to sew clothes. Now she is lonely and needs friends. I need to write more often.

Ben is becoming more than just a baby- he's growing up and becoming a little boy. Now he's becoming not just someone I need to teach and love, but also a little loving friend. He hugs and kisses me and cries when I leave. That's some of the best love I've ever received.

Stephen's supervisors have told his Dad that he's been doing a good job. He's an amazing hard worker and is doing his best to prove he deserves the position. He recently told me he's going to try to be their best engineer. If anyone could accomplish such an ambitious goal, he can.

We are so lucky. I am so lucky.

Friday, August 14, 2009

17 Months (almost)

Hi everyone! Things are going well with our new living arrangements and Stephen is enjoying employment. Here are some pictures from a Ben photo shoot we did on Wednesday. Enjoy!





Monday, August 3, 2009

Stephen Got a Job!

Sorry I've been keeping you all out of the loop, but it's just because I didn't want to jinx anything . . .

STEPHEN GOT A JOB! Hooray!

Stephen was hired to be an engineer at New Bedford Panoramex (NBP), an aviation, utility and defense company in Upland, California. They work mainly through government contracts with the FAA. He starts Wednesday! (Yes! In two days!)

We'll be moving from my parent's house to Stephen's parent's house, conveniently located in Upland. We have been so fortunate and blessed with such a great opportunity! Stephen's father is the controller for NBP, became aware of an opening for an engineer, and let us know. Stephen interviewed last week and they made us an offer this morning! Our families have been so incredibly supportive during this long, frustrating time. Hopefully in a month or so we'll have our own place! It's almost hard to imagine after living with other people for so long. . .

Ben is doing great. He is so surprising, fun, and smart. He remembers directions and instructions (even though sometimes he clearly doesn't want to- you can see the decision process working in his face) and the other day he counted to three. He loves music, dancing, and fuzzy blankets. He's gotten more cuddly and will walk up to us with his arms raised, just wanting to be held or hugged. It's hard to believe that he'll be in nursery next month (daycare at church)!

Last Tuesday night we went to the temple and Stephen and I felt so at peace. We've just been trying to do our best, and we were feeling good about where we stood, even though it wasn't exactly where we wanted to be. The timing with all of this has been almost ideally placed with everything going on around us. There was definitely a divine hand here.

We are looking forward to this new part of our lives. We couldn't be happier or more excited. We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 4th!

We had a great Independence Day this year! We went to a family reunion out in Palmdale with Stephen's side of the family. We had a lot of fun, even though we had to miss the afternoon portion because of work (grr). It was great to see everyone! Here are some pictures (courtesy of Kari- thanks!).

Relaxing around the jacuzzi at Eric and Robin's.

Ben wishes he could launch rockets just like Great Uncle Neil.

Ben and I watching everyone play in the pool.

Family Picture!

Ben's new favorite treat.

Playing outside before fireworks started.

Stephen and Ben playing inside.

We had a great time. We were sad to miss the afternoon festivities. Hopefully no one has to work next year!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gooooooooooal!

Today I was working on my Sunday school lesson and listening to Stephen play with Ben. I heard Stephen say, "Sorry Ben. That's goal tending, huh? Can you say goal tending?" Then, I heard Ben say, "Goal tending." Ahh! I was so pleasantly shocked and surprised! His vocabulary has just taken off in the last few days (not that I really expect him to understand what goal tending is...). His vocabulary now includes:

Pretty
Dirty
Mom
Daddy
Nani (Grandma)
Uh-oh
Up
Down
Kitty
This
Peas (Please)
Dank-oo (Thank you)
Hey
Hi
Yeah

Of course, he never speaks when we want him to, but he surprises us.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SICK

Stephen and I have been sick. For a week. It's the achy-runny-coughy-sneezy-sore type of sick. We've both been to the doctor, and both been told it's different things by different doctors. Apparently, I have a viral infection and Stephen has a bacterial infection. Huh.

Either way, we're both starting to feel much better, though I haven't been able to work for almost a week. Fortunately, we are okay enough financially that taking the week off isn't going to hurt too much.

Ben is doing fantastically. He's adventurous, talkative, and has started to run. Fast. He's getting to be such a big BOY. From playing in dirt to throwing rocks, he's starting to grow up. My little toddler is getting so big.

He also thinks any animal is classified as a "doggy." I'm working on it. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Well Baby Check-up


Ben just had his 12 month check-up and, yes, he's 13 1/2 months old. We'd had temporary insurance since we graduated, but that expired in April and we've been waiting for our new private insurance to go through. Well, it finally did (yay!) and we got Ben an appointment with my former pediatrician, Dr. Tenenbaum. While we were in school, Ben went to whichever doctors were available at the student health center, so it was nice to have a doctor that I feel so comfortable with. Well, I'm sure you're dying to know the results!
  1. Ben is 25th percentile for height and weight. The doctor is not worried about this: she said his body is very proportionate.
  2. He has completely recovered from his surgery in December (a right orchiopexy, if you're curious). There is no resulting scar tissue, everything is where it should be, and the scar will fade with time.
  3. He only had to get one shot, and he handled it pretty well. Some initial screaming, but within 5 minutes he was fine.
  4. He has molars developing! You can see them in his gums.
  5. Best news of all: she was very impressed with his social ability and his comprehension (such as responding to "Ben, come here" by coming to you) and thought his development was going very well.
It's always nice to hear that you've been raising your child in a way that's successful; hopefully things will continue this way for a long time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's About Time.


Sorry, everyone. I took a little hiatus from blogging for a month while things simmered down. My parents moved, so we moved with them, and we took a trip to BYU to walk for our graduation (and got some cute pictures, I might add). And the best news of all . . .

We have pictures! Finally!

So, to resist bombarding you with a ridiculous amount of pictures, I'll start with the most recent events and go backwards until we're all caught up (which goes all the way to Thanksgiving, I might add). But really, this is very doable. So, on with graduation news:

We left Wednesday after I got off work (I was unable to get the day off) around 5:00. Imagine this... trying to trudge your way east through L.A. alongside commuters, realizing all too late how impossible it's going to be to escape the clutches of entangled freeways and frenzied drivers. It took 2 hours to make a trip that usually took about 50 minutes. Whoops. At least we were driving in the right direction, right?

Fortunately, we were able to stop at Stephen's parent's house for dinner (bless them) and we were able to continue our long journey. Nine hours later, we arrived at our destination at 6:30 am MST. Ew. EW EW EW. But, really, it was all worth it. We got such cute pictures!

Stephen waiting backstage before walking.


Near the Marriott Center with the Alumni Building in the background.

Next to the bell tower with the Y in the background.

Best of all, we got to see some old friends! We went to lunch on Friday with our former neighbors, Tim & Annalise and Tom & Lovetta, at Olive Garden. We played games with them every Sunday night while we were in Utah, and we miss them even more than we did before.

We also got to see our friends Matt & Heather and their little boy, Jonah. He and Ben were just playing with blocks and tumbling over each other like crazy little boys. They were so cute!

Of course, no post is complete without a homage to Ben! Enjoy:

Walking by a pond in the shadow of Y mountain.

Ben helping us move . . . riiiiiiight.

Ben got a balloon at the grocery store! He got so excited . . . then he fell asleep.

This is an older picture from Thanksgiving but he's just so cute!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday!

Benjamin is one year old today! Here's an update on all the wonderful things about Ben:

1. He loves reading and books. He'll flip through them, just looking at the pictures and the words.

2. He took four steps in a row two days ago toward the piano, one of his favorite toys. Yes, the piano is more motivation than I am. :)

3. He says, "yeah," "hi," "huh," "moma," "dada," "yum," and giggles incessantly.

4. Ben clicks his tongue. Constantly. We'll blow kisses at him, then he'll smile and click his tongue. At least he's consistent!

5. He recognizes Mickey Mouse. When he sees a picture of Mickey, he says "huh" and points at him.

6. He is REALLY ticklish. The best spots are his armpits, belly, and knees.

7. Ben doesn't just sleep. When he first falls asleep, he crashes and is totally out. He's been known to fall asleep in his highchair.

8. He loves crackers. He especially loves crushing them and playing with the pieces.

9. He loves music and tries to sing to it. So cute!

10. Ben loves scary rides like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride or the Roger Rabbit Ride. He'll make a tiny, high pitched scream with a huge smile on his face!

Ben's so big! It's hard to believe it's already been an entire year. Happy Birthday, Ben!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cheesecake!

Recently, I got a craving for cheesecake, so I went on the Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese website. I figured they would have the best recipes, but they also had a "create your own cheesecake" application. It's wicked cool! I'm going to try out the recipe tomorrow, and I'll let you know how it goes! In the meanwhile, we're going to DISNEYLAND today! Hooray!

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's Called "The Happiest Place on Earth" for a Reason

Stephen and I have been contemplating buying season passes to Disneyland for a while. I know, it sounds crazy; we only have my server's income right now. However, we were blessed with an AMAZING tax refund and found ourselves in a reasonable position to go out on a limb and purchase passes. Southern California residents get a great discount; the passes would pay for themselves in just two trips! We just couldn't let the opportunity pass us by. Ben is free until his 3rd birthday, and we both love Disneyland.


By the way, our one and only Christmas present to Ben this year was a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal. This child is going to be Disney-tastic. It's inevitable.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh Blogger, Where Art Thou?

WHERE DID MY POSTS GO?

I loaded my page... and my posts disappeared! They just . . . weren't there!
Has this happened to anyone else??

Have YOU seen them?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Get Animated!

Car insurance can be such a nightmare sometimes.

Take, for example, trying to get real quotes that actually reflect what you'll be paying. Stephen and I have had to get new insurance because our old company doesn't exist in California, and we've been shopping all over. Little did we know that car insurance premiums are based on the most at-risk driver, a.k.a. the youngest driver.

That would be me.

Unfortunately, I have a "not so good" driving record. About two years ago, I rear-ended the trailer hitch of a full size van in the snow because the plows hadn't been out (no damage to their car whatsoever, while ours had to be in the shop for over a month). Also, I was cited for speeding in downtown Provo last summer. Now, Center Street in Provo is 15 m.p.h. through downtown, but by my street it changes to 35 m.p.h. Apparently, it's a big deal to start driving faster until after you pass the sign, even if you have a screaming baby in the car who was just immunized and needs to nurse as soon as possible.

Well, I went to driving school like a responsible citizen and successfully completed it, resolved to change my evil ways. Six months later, here we are, trying to get insured, and that speeding ticket is still on my record. Turns out, I must live through a nine month probation period from the time I plea guilty to my heinous crime, and the citation will remain there until the period is over. This isn't until June! Meanwhile, it looks like I have 3 points on my record. This is a big deal. The price difference changes from around $105/month to $215/month. Insane!!!

So, what could we do? We could try to get documentation, but there just isn't time because we only had 30 days to get insured after registering our car in California (from January 27). So, we decided to try Esurance as a temporary policy until we could get my speeding ticket resolved.

Guess what? Esurance rocks! They were WAY cheaper than everyone else, even with my icky record! Granted, everything is done online (bills, statements, etc.) but that works for us and our lifestyle. We have a local agent, and we can still contact them 24/7. Esurance was such a pleasant surprise! Plus, they have a pretty rockin' mascot (her name is Erin, by the way). I just wish their site had a way to create your own animated character that looks like you, or something. :D


Here's hoping to more pleasant surprises for everyone, even after many headaches. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reading and Working . . . Then Reading Some More...

Lately, I've been pretty busy. Just, not with anything that important! I've been working at Houston's about 4 times a week, and I can't believe how much money I can make there. I thought I was doing well in Utah, but this takes the cake! In Utah, I made 2.13/hr + tips. Here, I make 8.00/hr + tips. If that weren't enough of a difference, Houston's is quite high end (wine, prime rib and the like), so you can imagine comparing that with the tips I got at a family-friendly Mexican restaurant. I loved Los Hermanos, but I love the income Houston's is giving me.

Stephen and I have also been doing a lot of reading lately. Our new favorite author of the moment is Brandon Sanderson, a fantasy writer (who is also a BYU creative writing professor, though I never took a class from him).



Elantris is a stand-alone novel, while Mistborn is the first book in a trilogy. He's a captivating writer with interesting plots, refreshing, and invents his own fantasy worlds. It doesn't feel like he's "borrowed" settings, characters, or concepts from other authors. He's original, plus he's fun to read. Both of these books are page turners. As of now, my life is consumed with reading the sequels to Mistborn. I'm stuck reading these until the end . . . I must know what happens! :)

Ben is doing great. Yesterday we found two more teeth coming in - the top incisors next to his two front teeth. He's been drooling like . . . well, like an erupting fire hydrant. He hasn't been this drooly in a while. Take it this way- we can't go anywhere without a burp cloth right now. He's starting to get more brave while walking, and he's taken a few steps on his own! He's still a bit too chicken to walk without help, though. He's becoming the stair climbing expert and scampers up and down now!

I've been trying to find the cable that connects the camera to the computer so I can update some pictures for you all, but I think it's in storage. Our storage unit is packed to the top with furniture and boxes . . . I should have made a map of where everything is! Well, hopefully we'll find it soon. Have a great day!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One Down, One to Go

I got the job! Yay! I start this next week. I'm pretty excited to be serving again, though it's been a while. Still, yay- a job's a job.

Stephen's looking, but it's pretty hard. He went to an expo in Anahiem today, and there was a huge line just to get a 10 minute interview. Standing next to him in line was a 45 year old who had a ton of experience, and he wasn't the only one. Because of the "financial crisis" he has to compete with all the guys who are getting laid off, so you can imagine his stress at that prospect. There are still a lot of opportunities, but they're just harder to find right now because people are reluctant to hire.

Stephen's giving a talk tomorrow in church and I'm the missionary dinner coordinator. Hahaha. That feels like more like a made-up calling than some I had to think of for my singles' ward. But we have no idea how long we'll be in the ward, so it's all for the best. There are a lot of young kids in the ward, so Ben's not so noisy as he would be otherwise. There are lots of other babbling kids, too.

So, I went through my blog list and there are a couple of people who have set their blogs to "invited only." Now, I TOTALLY respect this, but I would like to be invited, if that's okay. :) I miss reading about you all. Please email me at lisha[underscore]lacey[at]hotmail[dot]com if you'd like to talk in other ways. But I miss you! :D

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Aloha (as in "Hello," not "Goodbye")

Hi.

Well, not much is happened, but sorry for the lack of updates. We're still basically in the same circumstances we were last post. We're both looking for work. Stephen's gotten some great advice for his resume from a guy in my parent's ward and he's been progressing well with some leads. He got a pretty funny offer from a company based in INDIA where he'd have to go there to train... yeah, not happening. ;) I've been applying to local restaurants (it's good, quick money) and I have a third and final interview with a place called Houston's tomorrow. I think I'll probably get the job, but there are never any guarantees, of course. The issue is that I'm just a little over qualified to be a server. Oh well, it's what I want.

On an exciting note, our transcripts officially say that we have degrees now. Hooray! I don't think it will feel really official until we're able to walk, or at least until they send us our "pieces of paper." Silly BYU and outdoor graduation traditions. I would have done it in the snow. In fact, our friend Annalise did it in the snow last year when she walked at the end of April. See? They SO could do ceremonies in December.

Ben has decided to conquer the stairs. My parent's house is split level, which means there are lots of obstacles for him to get over. But he LOVES the stairs. He'll go up a few, turn and smile at us, then keep going (he knows he's not allowed to without us). It's pretty cute. His top teeth have also emerged, and when he smiles, he shows all his gums. Sigh, I love that kid. But that's the problem- he's transforming from a BABY to a KID. He's getting older so quickly. I'm unable to post pictures right now because we don't have our own computer, but I will update when I'm able. Hope things are great with everyone!