Sunday, May 31, 2009

Little Tam's Prank


The first image is our ultrasound from this past Thursday. The second image is our interpretation of this first profile shot, complete with rotating and labeling for those who are ultrasound-viewing challenged. These shots were taken at about 19 weeks, which means we got to find out the sex of the baby.

Daddy had daughter dreams in the nighttime before this pregnancy even began; Mommy had pink premonitions and feelings in her heart lately; and friends even preemptively doled out a few flowery, feminine goodies for the little girl we figured we were having. Furthermore, Little Tam apparently talked to Daddy during our April doctor's appointment a month or so back: "While the doctor listened to the heartbeat, I was listening to Little talking, and she said, 'I'm a girl'." reports Daddy, shrugging.


Well, it seems that Daddy and baby have a special bond of affection between them...because Little was playing a loving trick on him that day of their conversation. A good natured joke. A hilarious bit of April foolery, though the punchline came during the month of May. But we won't point out the timing error to our ambitious, pranking Little Tam. Turns out Little is no girl. Rather, HE is a bold little boy who made us laugh with surprise to find our gender assumptions had been wrong. "Are you sure?" Jerry asked the ultrasound tech.


"Well, as sure as ultrasounds can be, though we can double-check gender in a few weeks when we have to try again to get a look at baby's lips."



Little was covering his mouth most of the time with his hands in a classic gesture of sneaky giggling. So we couldn't examine those smiling lips close enough to make sure there is no cleft lip. We also may have a change of due date, as it seems the baby is quite large for gestational age. In other interesting tidbits from the ultrasound session, our baby looks like a zombie from the frontal view. Those who are familiar with ultrasound images at this stage will realize it is normal for the fetus to don this appearance, due to lack of facial fat. And yes, we were daring enough to post the zombie image because HEY, if Little wants to laugh, might as well laugh at his own crazy face.
Oh, wow. Cannot believe we are having a BOY. We still feel thrilled of course, regardless of gender, but we had the girl name picked, and now we are starting from scratch again. Ideas for boy names, anybody? Or maybe we should give him a girl name, just to make his little joke backfire.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

When the price is TOO right

I have lots of good memorial day weekend photos and such to document, but wanted to first give a confession: I have discovered my brain was born with a poor "price instinct." In preparation for our move in a month or so (still no word on specifics of where or when...but I am still getting started packing), we put half a dozen items on Craig's List that we knew we wouldn't want to pack with us wherever we end up moving.

Within several hours of posting, two of the items were GONE. Not just spoken for--picked up and paid for. And the next day, two more items were spoken for, one of which got picked up but the other hasn't yet. Anyway, two more items left to sell from this batch and I was in awe at the speedy success of Craig's List selling...until I did a little research and realized it wasn't Craig's List magic, but merely the fact that I priced everything 1/2 to 1/3 the price of other comparable items for sale on the online venue. So yay for all the buyers who got bargains off my naivete, but maybe I'll start with higher prices next time and then lower them later if nobody buys for awhile.

Freecycle.org has also been a fun discovery over the past few weeks. Check it out if you like serving others, helping the environment, and getting great stuff for FREE! We will probably post all our unwanted stuff on there if Craig's List selling doesn't do its wonders within the next few weeks. So stay tuned.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Critters


Our current stage of family structure still enables us to be fairly spontaneous. So we made a last-minute, surprise road trip to Boise over this past week to visit with family there. Had a lot of fun getting caught up with the little bros, watching the videos of their roadshow and sports events, talking and laughing lots, etc. Also we learned of dad's newest hobby: relocating squirrel friends who decided to burrow in the attic. Jerry really wanted to get the catching process on video, but squirrel #9 just proved too wily. We did get to watch the release of #8, after we drove him in his little "havahart" cage miles away from our house--over the river, through the woods, and behind the cemetery/Jewish synagogue. When my dad lifted the cage door, our poor little squirrel friend bolted so fast we didn't even see which tree he ended up hiding in.

To me, ducks are no longer half as cute as squirrels. Here is my story of how my duck disillusionment began: When we fed the ducks about a week or two ago, I witnessed an intraspecies attack. One "adolescent" sized duck got jumped by the rest of the flock. Biting, chasing, body slamming--the flock was horrifically vicious to their outcast. So I ran into the fray and, in a spirit of moral outrage, kicked the attacking ducks away.
video
Flipflop feet. Jerry got worried for the welfare of my little toes. In spite of my help, the weakling duck still got chased into the bushes and I have no doubt she is dead at this moment. If you watch the video, turn your computer screen to 100% brightness and contrast (it was evening and our light was bad). Also, Jerry claims the commentary on the video is his favorite part, so you might want to turn on the volume.

Anyway, the ducklings were not so charming after I saw what mob violence their parents were capable of. But for anybody who still wants to look at killer ducks in baby form, here is one pic Jerry took that is semi-cute.
Note this duckling on the log is a fluffy yellow color. The BYU pond has a lot of domestic breeds interspersed with the wild mallards. Maybe that's where all the warfare comes from--culture clashes. Or it could have been due to the stale Froot Loops we tossed in the water (sugar makes me irritable, at least--though I'm not sure what it does for ducks).

Monday, May 11, 2009

One last mother item

In church yesterday, all the women received a long-stemmed rose in observance of Mother's Day. Jerry picked out a lovely multi-hued pink one for me, and then after church one of the counselors in the bishopric encouraged me to take a couple more--apparently there were a lot of extras. So I selected two more roses, and a couple pieces of leather leaf from the pile.

After plopping the stems in the only vase we own, the arrangement still looked a little bare, even with the added leather leaf. So sweet Husby and I trekked around the neighborhood in search of additional greenery. We only clipped a few stems from willing, wayward bushes (certainly not from anyone's yard!) and I was pleased to see that one of the bushes even resembled baby's breath. Though my sister--the professional floral designer--might cringe at the lopsided appearance of this bouquet, I am content with it. Freshly cut flowers are frivolous but joyful things.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother Stuff...and a belly shot!

Sorry for the relative lack of posts lately; this past week marked my final days of work in the coding lab, so I tried to make the lab be a special priority and as a result, almost everything else fell by the wayside. My heart felt wistful as I packed up my work binder and closed the lab door for the last time on this past Friday evening. Coding has become one of my all-time favorite employments up to this point, and probably only a few other jobs could top it for the enjoyment factor it produced--missionary work, marriage, and I would guess motherhood would all exceed it of course. But still, as far as student employment goes, it was the best!

Motherhood feels more real to me as my belly swells and gets more round. Still no feeling of movement from the Little Tam (my book estimates the movement feelings will come in a few more weeks?) but I do feel more pregnant every time I look in the mirror. I finally decided to get a couple pairs of maternity pants this week, as the rubberband trick--while technically still "working"--was getting inconvenient.

So, thanks to cousin Gena for a generous Target giftcard, and thanks to Deseret Industries for being such a bargain!


Here are the maternity jeans I got from DI ($6.00). They seem brand new, and fit great around the waist (ahh, the wonders of elastic) but are a little baggy around the thighs. That's a strange feeling for me--usually I fill out my jeans no problem! Does maternity clothing just fit weird? Anyway, I'm sure my rear will grow into them soon enough. Let's just hope by then the elastic waist still feels comfy on my bigger belly.


The photo above was taken at Jerry's company party yesterday afternoon. The company gave out free t-shirts, and we even snagged a free baby tee for Little Tam. So cute...!

And here I am tonight wearing the comfy new maternity pants from Target (on clearance for $10). Reviews of this item from other customers state that many women can wear these pants the entire pregnancy, because of the foldy style waist. So I'm excited, because I love them! Once again though, a little baggy in the thigh/rear end area. What is going on?


So this is my 16 week belly. Is it big? Small? Normal? And what kind of pose is a woman supposed to do for belly shots? Jerry told me to hold my shirt tighter to accentuate my round shape, but then my arms fold themselves into a chicken wing pose...so I guess for future shots I will don a top that is more form fitting to begin with, so my arms can relax.

I haven't been very diligent about documenting "week by week" growth, but to this day, I still have not gained a single pound! In fact, I am even a couple pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. Should I be worried? I have a doctor's appointment this week, so maybe I'll ask. I eat constantly. Not low-fat, either. We drink whole milk, and I even searched out whole-milk yogurt I've been enjoying. I believe whole foods are healthier, dairy included. So I eat whole grains, whole fruits as much as possible (even the skins on kiwis, for instance), an egg or two per day with yolks included of course, etc. I also eat plenty of Chinese noodles and such. I like being pregnant in the spring/summer when there are lots of yummy fresh foods available.



Speaking of yummy foods, we have been eating smoothies galore lately. With the remaining Target card money from Gena, Jerry and I bought a blender. Somehow we have survived nearly two years without one, and I'm not sure why we put off buying it for so long. Wonderful. Feel free to share any good smoothie recipes. There is a spinach one floating around out there I've been wanting to try. Turns the drink green like the color of Shrek, and apparently tastes great.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

7 Year Old Prodigy

Still catching up from last week's adventures, here are a few scenes at our family graduation party. Since Jerry and I were busy socializing, we handed over the camera to seven-year-old cousin Alexie. Her mom and maternal grandfather both do great photography, and it appears this little girl has caught the bug as well. Thanks for all the fun photos Alexie!! Unless otherwise stated, all pictures were taken by her:


Candid shot of Great Aunt Bertella getting loved by a niece and nephew. We are so glad Bertella could make it, as health problems sometimes keep her at home.

Jerry got swarmed by children all night long. In the background is Uncle Keith talking with Duan, our Chinese friend. She is a visiting professor to BYU, and we feel honored she could come to our party.

When Lexie directed our arrangement for this shot, she tried to make Jerry and Duan be a couple. I quickly wedged myself in the middle there, and we all got a good laugh out of it.
This picture Lexie took of her Grandpa Myron is charming because the short stature of the photographer is evident by the view angle.


And here is one Jerry caught of Lexie herself (in pink), a rare moment when she was off camera duty and playing a game with another cousin.




Jerry also took this last picture. We had relatives there from both my mom and dad's sides; this is my dad (middle) with his sister and her husband.
Jerry and I have been so glad to have lots of relatives in the area, and we were astounded at how many showed up to our little graduation get-together. Thanks for coming, everybody!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh, and one more thing to check off the list

It happened a whole week ago now (time does fly when you're having fun!) but we Tams are officially graduated. Here are a few pics and memories.

Good ol' Harold B. Lee in the background. I'll miss that place. But I will not miss the cheaply made, overpriced gowns we had to purchase for graduation this year. Harry Potter costumes for next Halloween, that's all I can say.

I laughed at how my parents wore purple--the color of ACI, the college I attended for my first year or two of undergrad. Mom wore the official ACI t-shirt the day before. This ACI tribute is not a protest or some kind of statement, but rather my dad had a new plum colored shirt and mom dressed to match, I suppose. They are BYU fans regardless.


In the chaos of waiting in lines, standing, sitting, and more waiting, I managed to find friends to pass the time more quickly. This precious friend is Morgan, who had a baby mid-semester and didn't miss a single day of classes for it. She has three kids now, and is glad to be done with school so she can be a full-time Mom. She gives the title new meaning with her diaper adventures (check out Alaina's link).
I decided to take out the braids. This photo was number 1,005, I think. Our squinty reddened eyes testify that the exhaustion of final exams, ceremonies, having visitors to our home, etc. had finally caught up to us.


But we still had to make time for a stop at our first "study date" location--the JFSB quad (is that what this place is called?) where Jerry helped me with Chinese homework for the first time. We sat at this table and I remember laughing at his joke about the sunshine forming a highlighter on the textbook page (guess you had to be there). Sweet Jerry still makes me laugh every day.







And a classic shot with Y Mountain. Again, tired--but happy. Graduating feels like a miracle and we are humbled to reflect on those who helped us reach this milestone. Thank you, all!