Rainbow Aliens

I have spent a lot of time around little humans. All my life. The older I get, the more I wonder what is going on in their heads.

There are (few) moments that I catch a glimpse of a memory that lets me remember a hint of what was in my mind as a kid.

I often ask the little people in my home what they are thinking. I always ask what they dream about, when I go wake them up.

Mostly they don’t answer. However sometimes they do!

There was a stretch of time that Marcia the younger would look at me, grin really big, and say “rainbow aliens.”

The best I could understand, after asking her to describe them, was she was dreaming about light fractals, as seen on The Magic School Bus. Hooray for Ms. Frizzle!

Now, she mostly tells about dreams that involve her kindergarten classmates. And her teacher. Oh, how we wish her teacher could move up to first grade with her…. More stories from kindergarten are in order. At a later date.

As far as the youngest goes, he never answers. Mostly all I can figure is that Corban dreams of milk and Daddy. And probably of trying to be like the older two, too.

Hinckley, though, he always has an answer. And recently, he has to tell me all about his dreams before I can even ask. Sometimes he insists that he has to tell me all the details before I am allowed to say anything. At all.

This morning was one of those mornings.

He dreamed about roller skating. With Marcia. And it “was the best dream ever!”

Copyright 2016: Who, What, When, Where, How?

So, here is where people can make guesses on Copyright 2016’s birth stats.

Categories are Time, Date, Weight, and Length.  We already know the sex of the baby.  He was cooperative when we went searching.  Though I suppose you are entitled to make a prediction if you think he will surprise us and be a she…

Anyone may make a guess in a comment on this here page (this is better for record keeping than facebook), so that we will know a winner, or as close to a winner as possible.

For some background info that may make this as “informed” of a guess as possible:

Marcia the elder was born July 12th was due on August 12 (but my mom said she knew I would be born in July), born at 4:55 pm, 7 pounds 3 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long, girl.

Jacob was born July 18th was due on July 5th, born at 11:39 am, 7 pounds 5 ounces, 20 inches long, boy.

Mar©ia the younger was born December 3rd was due on December 7th, born at 7:17 am, 6 pounds 7 ounces, 20 inches long, girl.

Hin©kley was born November 20th was due November 22nd, born at 5:56 pm, 8 pounds 4 ounces, 19 3/4 inches long, boy.

Copyright2016 due April 9th.

Oh, and the most recent belly picture.  At 37 weeks then again at 39 weeks:

37weeksbelly big belly

What say you?

(There will be a prize for the person who guesses closest without going over.)

Book Review: The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

One of my personal goals for 2014 is to read a new book every couple of weeks. I started the year off with Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit.

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Why did I read this?

I first became interesting in this book after hearing two interviews with the author. The first from NPR, and the second from Ramit Sethi. I think psychology is interesting, even more if I can use an understanding of that psychology to help reach my goals, or help others reach theirs.

What did I think?

The Power of Habit is easy reading. It is largely anecdotal, sharing its message in narrative form. When the book tells of someone who acquired, broke, or changed a habit, it tells their story. When it talks of the psychology/neurology behind the habit, it tells the story of how the science was conducted and the conclusions discovered. When it speaks of powerful organizational and social change that can happen because of habits, it tells stories of companies, churches, and nations who have done exactly that. Some of the stories include:

  • How a woman gave up smoking and drinking in one day
  • How another woman slowly acquired a multi-million dollar gambling addiction over the course of years, encouraged by a casino that understood the psychology of her habits far better than she did
  • How an alcoholic learned about the principles of habit formation and used them to start the largest organization dedicated to positive personal change in the world
  • How Alcoa aluminum multiplied its profits 5x by focusing on an organizational habit that had nothing to do with sales, margins, shareholder value, or even profit
  • How Michael Phelps set a world record in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2008 Olympics despite an “equipment malfunction” which left him blind for most of the race
  • How the habits of individuals and groups contributed to the Montgomery bus boycott, and ultimately the civil rights movement of the 1960s
  • How Target knows what products to advertise to you before you even know you want them
  • …And a lot more

In my opinion, the book started strong, and then lost momentum towards the end. I think, though, that it’s because the ideas of personal habit formation and change strike close to home for me – they are things I can do. I don’t run a large organization or have any major social cause to champion, so the sections on organizational and social habits were a little less interesting (though I did find Alcoa’s story, and Target’s, to be absolutely fascinating). The book concludes with an appendix that teaches an actionable system for habit change, and walks through how the author discovered, diagnosed, analyzed, and changed an afternoon snacking habit that was causing him to gain weight.

Would I recommend it?

If you’re interested in psychology, behavior, and things like that, then YES, I would absolutely recommend it. Also, if you’re a parent, or you run an organization like a business or church, you and your family/organization could gain a lot from you reading this book.

tl;dr

The Power of Habit explores how habits work, how we can change them, and how we can use them to our advantage. If you want to change something about any aspect of your life, you should read it.

Happy Birthday Husband!!!

As the title indicates, today is Jacob’s birthday.

And his best present this today was when Copyright2012 cooperated and allowed us to see him!

In 3D!  It was really cool to see all the parts of the baby.  We even got to see an eye lens!  We do have a screen capture of that. 

Just in case I was not clear enough before the picture, it’s a BOY!!!

It is a big day for us Marcias

Well, it’s not really any different from other days.  But today, today I, Marcia the elder, have held Marcia the younger in my arms as many days as I held her inside mee.  My how time flies.  This little girl has accomplished so many tasks in these short 37 weeks and 4 days.  (I believe it is a big day for Jacob too, he just was at the university or high school during the picture and video sessions.)

She was walking all around the office.  I had given her some puffed rice to snack on, with mee in the room I was able to keep an eye on her.  While she is good with the walker, I am still quicker.  I was watching her, she was eating and loving her freedom.  Before my eyes, she got sleepy.  No whining or crying, though she was happy I picked her up to lay her down.

Here are some of the pictures taken during the first video.  And one that she wanted taken of mee.  I figure I ought to include myself at least once in a while.

First video was recorded to capture Marcia’s reaction to seeing her pictures.  The second is to showcase her self-feeding skills.  The videos are not really “thrilling” and I know that many people get bored of seeing baby videos, but I am happy with what she can do and figure that any grandparents or aunts/uncles or cousins Nana might be interested.

When I checked, YouTube had aborted the video. No reasons, just did. So now, 18 hours and 14 restarts later here is the second video.

Other notable information on Marcia (aka Copyright2010):

She has seven teeth, I can see the eighth right under the gums.
Her favorite color seems to still be red, though I do have some neon yellow fabric that she loves to play with.
She LOVES music.
She is always trying to take the camera or phone.  Always is not allowed to do so.  Always complains about that.
She is ticklish, and has an amazing laugh!
She pulls herself up on everything she can, she tried to climb up the outside of the walker this evening.
She likes to walk if some body holds her hands.  Once she figures out balance, there will be no stopping her.
She claps when she approves, or hears the words “good job.”  No matter who did the good job.
She claps when we get her out of the crib after naps.
She loves to look in the mirror.  Especially right after napping.  She smiles and talks and claps for the baby in the mirror, which I am sure she knows is herself (for a while now).
She roams all over her crib.  Standing, sitting, laying.  She does all that on her own.  She also moves a lot in her sleep.
She loves taking a bath.  She stands and sits and crawls all over the tub.  She would probably live in there if we would let her.
She likes to eat.  Her favorite foods thus far are butternut squash, puffed brown rice, and bananas.  I think she would eat anything if I mixed it with bananas.  She has not yet rejected anything, however the food she has been least thrilled with is apple.  We are also now on the look out for sensitivities to that with a second attempt, after a break.
We have been working on ASL signs.  She seems to understand the ones we use most.  She has been able to consistently make her version of “more,” “food,” “done,” “what,” and just today I saw her do “milk.”
She loves to bounce.  Jacob likes to tell people that “just like a puppy, you can tell how happy she is by how much her butt wiggles.”

The post you have all been waiting for (well, some of you)

Our last post indicated that we were working on securing a mortgage.  We did it!!!  Hooray for us!!  And (finally) thank you taxes!  We qualified for the first time homebuyer’s tax credit.  We have a home to call our own, we are very excited about this.

Monday the 14th of June (Miss Emily’s birthday) we closed circa 2:45pm (when all was signed and done).  We walked straight over to the post office to mail out our “address change” cards to many people.  This is why we asked for any addresses if people wanted one….  This is what it looks like:

annhousepageone

Okay, so it looked a bit different, because on what we mailed out had our actual address.  However as previously stated, we are not posting our address on here.  If you need/want our address, we can email it to you, but only if you ask, otherwise we don’t know we need to get it to you, and if we do not have your address you are responsible for getting it to us.

And for those who were/are unaware that there is a second page to the card, this is what it contains (unaltered):

annhousepagetwo

So there you have it folks!!!  We are very excited and (as one of us likes to put it ) “a little bit terrified.”

It was kind of a sneaky maneuver to announce our news this way.  Especially since I (Marcia) went camping with our young women for the rest of the week.  We acknowledge that.   We had good reason for it though.  Originally we had set the closing date for when I was going to be camping, as soon as we realized that, we changed it for the day before I left.  We also wanted to be sure that we had everything finished with purchasing the house before we announced the pending arrival of Copyright 2010.  (And just because I want to explain my taking so long in making this post) We have been packing/unpacking/moving/cleaning/etc for the last half of June, and only this morning did we finally get around to setting up my computer.  There, I said it, and I feel justified!  And I am pregnant, so don’t make mee cry.

? ? ? F A Q ? ? ?

We get asked many questions with both of these big events happening in our lives.  We have decided to do an FAQ (frequently asked questions) list:

Q:  When are you going to move?

A:  We have moved all of our belongings out of the house we rented and into our new house.  We had our family help us.  This process was started while I was at camp.  I thought that was good timing, and because I have not been too incredibly useful, I figured it would work out better if I could just pack and have as much ready before hand and let them work while I was out of town.

Q:  Are you all moved in?

A:  That is a tricky question.  All of our stuff is in the house, however much of it is still in boxes.  We have been sleeping here and unpacking.  I would not say we are “moved in” yet, I am not sure what the true definition would be for us to be in that state.  Though because most of the boxes are in Copyright’s room, we have to be un-packed enough by the time December comes around.

Q:  When can I come see your house?

A:  Never, the date is past.  We held an Open “empty” House the evening we closed.  So I am partly kidding about the “never” part.  We will not be holding another “open house” and we do request that if people want to come see it, that they set up an appointment (I hate the Tuesdays), so as to allow us to be home, and hopefully a little more moved in. We are after all living here now.  Be considerate about it.

Q:  How much work do you have to do on the house? (Also stated as:  now you get to have fun fixing up the house)

A:  Actually we don’t have to do any work on the house other than unpacking.  We did have to get a fridge, stove, washer/dryer, and that is about it.  The good people we bought it from gutted the house and made it like new with new cabinets, paint, toilets, roof, plumbing, wiring, everything really!  We did get to pick out the carpet for the living room and flooring for the kitchen and bathroom.

That said, there is a detached garage with apartment space above it that needs quite a bit of work before it’s really useful, so that will be fun, but it isn’t something we have to do before we can live here.

Q: Did you buy the house because you are having a baby?

A:  No we are having a baby because we now have a house.  Joking.  We pretty much decided to buy the house before we knew about being pregnant.  This is a house we saw about a year and a half ago when it was in foreclosure, we loved it, we talked to the bank about making an offer.  Then we were told some one else made an offer and that offer was accepted.  Some months later (just over a year ago) we were presented with the opportunity to buy the same house, and it had been “gutted” and was in progress of being fixed up (when it was in foreclosure, the people trashed the house, on top of apparently not taking good care of it at all anyhow).  We thought it over and agonized and had to turn down that offer.  We did not feel like we could live in a “construction zone.”  Earlier this year as Jacob was at the university in his office, he had a visitor and we were again offered the house, this time all the work would be finished and it would be move-in ready.  We verbally expressed interest February, talked over details in March, signed a contract in April, and closed in June.  We knew about the baby in March and test confirmed in April.

Q:  I thought you never wanted to have children. (not really a question, and mostly directed at Jacob)

A:  All bark and no bite.  He claimed that until it happened he reserved the right to say that.  In reality, we are very excited.  And of course there is a bit of anxiety in the unknown.  Will our baby be cute?  Who will the baby look like?  When do they toilet train?  They don’t already know how to tie shoes?  Things like that.  However any person that said that to mee, doesn’t really know mee.

Q:  When is the due date?

A:  December 2010.  Doctor’s office says the 7th based on LMP. I say the 6th based on ovulation.

Q:  Is that a really sonogram or is it photoshopped?

A:  It is really a picture from my uterus.  Should it really be called a picture, it is an image created by sound waves aimed at my uterus.

Q:  Are you having a boy or a girl?

A:  We don’t know for sure.  Based on biology and time and the moon and the stars aligning and the atmospheric pressure we suspect it will be a girl.  However we have to wait about ten more weeks before my doctor will check it out.

Q:  What do you want to have? (generally this immediately follows the last question)

A:  A healthy human baby.  I know they mean sex of the baby.  Really though, I will be happy as long as everything goes well.  I would love a son or a daughter. I would definitely be disappointed if it was not human.

Q:  Do you want to find out the sex of the baby? (a number of people say gender, however there is a very important difference in the words, and for some odd reason it falls under my pet peeves category-sex is male or female, gender is masculine or feminine)

A:  I would be okay with either knowing or being surprised, a surprise could be fun, though so could knowing and planning.  Jacob wants to know.  We will find out if we can.  We really are planners and like to be prepared.

Q:  Have you been sick at all? (directed at mee since no one suspected, except in hindsight, and we only told doctors and we were surprised at how people had finally stopped asking when we were going to have a baby)

A:  Jacob responds with, “Have you not been sick at all?”  I have had lots of not feeling well.  I did really well with not vomiting, though there was lots of nausea, still is some, though not as constant.  Then I got a sinus infection, drainage started and the vomiting commenced.  I could probably win a contest for puking on command.  Is there a super hero yet?

Q:  Have you had any cravings?

A:  Hmmm, cravings….  Not too many cravings.  Mostly I have aversions.  Sugar is the biggest offender at this time, unless it is counter balanced with other healthier foods.  I can’t eat lettuce, and the vinegar in most condiments gives me issue.  Yesterday I really wanted garlic bread, it was delicious to mee.  One day I wanted potato chips (I don’t like potato chips, I like corn chips) in three flavors BBQ, Cheddar, French Onion;  I did not get them, but I could taste them in my mind, and I wanted them.  Early on I had a strong craving for Chef  Boyardee canned ravioli;  that stuff is nasty and I refused to listen to that craving.

Q:  Are you (or “you are”) going to have fun shopping for maternity clothes?

A:  If I liked shopping maybe that would be appealing.  However I am short and it has never been fun to shop for clothes, for mee.  Also, last year I lost over 60 pounds, and I did not get rid of those clothes (I know you are never supposed to keep “fat clothes” but I did).  And there were some of those clothes that I like, and frankly I don’t want to spend money on temporary clothes.  And there is the fact that we now have a mortgage to pay, and I don’t think there is a shopping spree in the future of our budget.

If we remember (or any other questions start to come up) other questions we get asked we will answer them.