Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Oh, and it snowed last night and a little bit more today, so it really feels like Christmas now! Funny how this native southern California girl, who never had a white Christmas until a couple of years ago, is so excited for snow, huh? I'll like it until January, probably. Then the novelty wears off.
Side note: the gift card from "The Human Fund" from my last post? There was no balance on it. We found out while trying to use it to buy this tree. Luckily we had funds in our bank account, but still. Sigh. I'm hoping it was just a mistake and not a cruel joke...
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Kids on the Move is an organization that conducts early intervention with young children who have developmental delays. We had someone come out to evaluate Joshua, and she confirmed our concerns. He is currently in the 10th percentile as far as expressive development goes, and if he doesn't make leaps and bounds in the next month, he will drop to the 3rd percentile. This means he qualifies for their assistance. We don't know yet what that will involve, be it home visits, classes at the KOTM building, a combination of the two, or what--we are waiting for them to call us back and set up an appointment to discuss the particulars. Hopefully we'll get started soon.
We really hope and pray that this program will help Joshua learn to express himself better. It's almost heartbreaking to see him point at something but only give a little grunt, or call our attention and then just say "Unh" because he can't let us know what he wants. Here's hoping our little guy will soon learn to say more words and start really talking with us!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
You see, since Cody's working on Sunday nights, he is exhausted when he comes home (just in time for me to dash out the door), and he often ends up snoozing on the couch while Joshua plays and semi-watches Playhouse Disney. So, Joshua, being the adoring son that he is, has decided it's fun to pretend to be Daddy, lay on the couch, and "snore." Seriously, it's hilarious. As soon as I realized what he was doing, I couldn't stop laughing--and considering I have a migraine tonight, that was saying something. I hope to capture it on video at some point, but for now your imaginations will have to suffice. I love that kid.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I'll never be able to look at edible fungi the same way again.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
To you women who find it necessary to work when you would rather be at home, may I speak briefly...I honor you and respect you for your integrity and spirit of self-reliance. I pray that the Lord will bless you with strength and great capacity, for you need both. You have the responsibilities of both breadwinner and homemaker. I know that it is difficult. I know that it is discouraging. I pray that the Lord will bless you with a special wisdom and the remarkable talent needed to provide your children with time and companionship and love and with that special direction which only a mother can give. I pray also that he will bless you with help, unstintingly given, from family, friends, and the Church, which will lift some of the burden from your shoulders and help you in your times of extremity.
We sense, at least in some small degree, the loneliness you must occasionally feel and the frustrations you must experience as you try to cope with problems that sometimes seem beyond your capacity to handle. Sometimes you need food for your tables, and we trust that bishops will be there to supply food and other goods and services under the great program which the Lord has provided in his Church. But we know that more often your greater need is for understanding and appreciation and companionship. We shall try a little harder to cultivate these virtues, and I urge you sisters who are in a position to do so to reach out with greater concern to those who find themselves in these less fortunate circumstances."
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for speaking to my heart and my spirit through the words of one of Thy servants. I really needed to hear this today.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
To kick this off, we started making a few small changes. For instance, we didn't take Joshua trick-or-treating nor did we hand out candy of our own, so there's no leftover candy around. We also left the cookies we made on Saturday at my sister's house so we're not tempted to eat them. And we resolved to include vegetables with dinner more often...so instead of just chicken and rice, we'll add some broccoli and cauliflower, or heat up some peas and carrots to go with the mac and cheese. I'm also bringing Lean Cuisine lunches to work more often instead of going off campus for fast food. You know, small things--and all those small things together will help, right?
Here's to a good, healthy lifestyle! We'll get there eventually!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
We plan to dress him up on Halloween night too, though we don't plan to take him trick-or-treating. It's been ridiculously cold around here lately, so I think we'll just stay home and hand out candy. But hey, that's fun too!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
He's been looking for awhile, just something part-time so our finances aren't hurting so severely. And he was seriously looking everywhere...but of course it's really hard right now. Anyway, a friend of his mentioned an opening where he worked, and Cody sent over his resume, and he was offered a job! He's working as a night watchman at this placed called Maple Lake Academy. The hours aren't great (Sunday and Wednesday nights from 11pm-7am), but we think it's going to work out. He already worked his first night on Sunday/Monday morning, and luckily didn't feel too tired all day yesterday.
So yay, Cody has a job now! He'll keep looking for something else, maybe better hours and/or something more related to the legal field, but for now, at least he's bringing in some much-needed income. I'm so grateful that he is willing to sacrifice to help our family. =)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We broke out the video camera on Sunday. It had been laying dormant on our bookshelf since...well, for a long time. Joshua has been being a lot more interactive these days, and so we tried to capture some of his latest talents on film. First up, singing with Mommy and Daddy (please forgive the horrible out-of-tuneness that is our duet):
And, second, here is Joshua performing some of his animal sounds. Some of them are a little hard to tell, but he does make them sound almost like the real animal. It's pretty cute.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Honestly, I was kind of puzzled that I was assigned this part of the declaration, mainly because I'm far from the ideal wife and mother. And I don't mean that as a slight to myself--I'm referring to the current situation of my family. It had always been my plan to stay at home with my children. That's what I envisioned would happen when I was growing up and even up until a few months after Cody and I got married. But that's definitely not what actually did happen.
Most of you know that I currently work full-time away from home and part-time from home (amounting to 9 or 10 hours of work each day), and that my husband stays home with our son and goes to school in the evenings. This is most definitely not the norm in Mormon culture. The norm, as I see it, is usually the following: if the couple marries while the husband is still in school, the wife works while the husband finishes his degree, and they delay having children until he graduates and they are more financially stable, and then the wife can then stay home once they have children. If children come before the husband graduates, he takes on a full-time job and takes classes in the evenings so that the mother can stay home.
Obviously, this is not the case in the Alleman Family. And I'm really not trying to complain about it--we know without doubt that we were supposed to have Joshua when we did. But I do have to admit that it hasn't been easy, this being a working mother. I went back to work full-time when Joshua was just four weeks old, and though I was able to bring him with me for a few hours each morning, I still resented the fact that I had to work when he was so tiny. As Joshua's birth drew closer, I can remember feeling so jealous of the women around me who were also pregnant and looking forward to quitting their jobs just before giving birth. I often thought, "Why wasn't this going to happen to me? Why can't I stay home too? Did I do something wrong?"
So when I was assigned this topic by my RS President, I didn't quite understand what made me an authority on dedicating myself to marriage, family, and home--I could think of many other women in our ward who spent more time focused on their marriages, families, and homes. They had it all down pat and could offer tons more than I could. I don't even remember what I said, though I do know I tried to avoid talking about myself and my current situation because I just didn't want to get into it all. As the lesson wore on, there were comments made about how grateful some sisters were for their hard-working husbands who make it possible for them to stay home. And try as I might, I could not help but feel the jealousy burning once again.
But as I've thought more about it since church on Sunday, I realized something: yes, my situation is not ideal, but it works for me and my family. My husband has gained so much from staying at home with our son--and he often mentions that, once he finishes school and works so that I may stay home, he will understand how hard it is to care for children and that he will help out as much as he can. And I like to think that I treasure more the few hours I get with Joshua every day. Would I change things if I could? Of course I would. I would love to stay at home. But resenting it and being upset about it doesn't help anything.
So, I guess I will conclude that I dedicate myself to my marriage, my family, and my home by working hard to provide for them. It is my labors that help us survive, that pay our rent, that allow us to purchase the things we need. Working makes me treasure the time I have with Joshua so much...and even though he can't read yet, I want to apologize to him for not always giving him my complete attention for the 2-3 hours I see him every day. I will try to be better.
I'm grateful for my jobs. I'm grateful for the income they provide and that they give me satisfaction. But I look forward to the day when I can say that my full-time job isn't a paid position with healthcare benefits--it's being a wife and mother, which pays more and gives more benefits, emotionally and spiritually, than any other full-time job could ever hope to give.
Those of you out there who do have the chance to stay at home with your children, please do something for me: give each of your children a hug and a kiss and tell them how grateful you are for being able to stay at home with them. I know it's hard, but please treasure the time you have. I hope you realize how lucky you are.
Monday, October 5, 2009
First, to get the full effect, you have to see how Mickey and Minnie and all them dance, so click here first. Then, watch this video of Joshua:
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Okay, I'll admit, I'm not really liking the idea of the 30-degree drop we're going to have from Tuesday to Wednesday this week, but I think I'll get over it. Plus, as much as it annoys me after awhile, I do think snow is beautiful. And I can't wait to watch Joshua play in it. For now, though, I think I'll just sit back and enjoy our view of the beautiful reds and oranges all over Timp. =)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Someone help me out here. Who DOESN'T have pictures of their kids, or even pictures of themselves from when they were little, taken during bathtime? I can think of several pictures we have of Joshua's little bum (he has a very cute one, I have to admit). Would this be considered child pornography? Why does nudity automatically mean pornography? Okay, I admit, not all of the photos have been released, and the police claim that the ones that have not been made public include "provocative poses" by the girls, who they claim could have been "sexually exploited." But that does NOT justify doing what they did to this family!
I don't understand America. Sometimes I think our society is waaaay too loose with its morals, way too immodest in its dress, and pornography is much too accessible. But then I see a story like this, and I think...um, wow. Now they're being much too uptight, much too overprotective. Were the photos pornographic? Maybe to one or two people, but I think most out there would agree that naked bathtime photos of small children are found in almost every household in America, and that this small piece of "evidence" of "child exploitation" was not nearly enough to justify what took place. It scares me that someone's perception of what I am doing with my child could allow government officials to come to my home and take him away. I don't like it, plain and simple.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
We also took the chance to do some laundry while the game was on, and Joshua really took a liking to his laundry hamper. He actually started to throw a fit if we took it off of his head. He probably walked around like this for a good 20 minutes, even following his daddy down the hallway a few times. He had to have his water cup inside the hamper with him, too. He's very particular. Probably his favorite part about it was running into the couch and enjoying how the hamper would bounce him backwards.
Monday, September 7, 2009
We are the worst picture takers...but here are a couple that we managed to take. Sorry none of them have actual animals in them.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
We said goodbye to Joshua before putting him to bed on Wednesday night (Aug 19th) and then drove down to St. George, arriving around midnight. Our room was nice and quite spacious--on the third floor, vaulted ceilings, full kitchen and front room, private deck, king-size bed, the works. The "jetted tub" was kind of a disappointment (picture a regular-sized tub with four little jets...there was barely enough room for Cody, let alone the two of us), but that's okay.
Thursday, we slept in, then decided to go exploring and get some food for our stay. We ended up at the St. George Temple, first of all, and toured the visitor's center there and spoke with the missionaries, which is always fun. Of course, we forgot our camera at home so we were limited to my cell phone camera (thank heaven for those!):
After leaving the temple, we got some groceries and returned to the resort, where we ate dinner and went swimming, then finished up the night with a movie, The Dark Knight.
Friday, we slept in again (hey, we had to take advantage of not having Joshua, the human early morning wakeup call) and then ventured out to the movie theater, where we saw G.I. Joe. Decent flick, I thought. Then we brought In N Out back to the resort and lounged around. We attempted to Skype with my mom and Joshua back in Orem, but something was wrong with her camera, so we couldn't see him, but apparently he got a huge smile on his face when he saw us :) Then we watched Wall-E and went swimming before bed.
Saturday we had planned to go to Zion's, but after learning the pricetag of even a trip up Kolob Canyon, we opted for the much less pricey Snow Canyon. It was super hot and we realized just how out of shape we are and how silly we were for not bringing water with us, but it was still fun. It's a beautiful area down there!
We made it home in time to avoid the huge rainstorm that came through late that afternoon (seriously, wind blowing sheets of rain all over, chairs almost blowing off our balcony, 3-foot-wide gutters), but it calmed down enough for us to go to the temple again, where we saw the Joseph Smith movie. Such a good one. And I love this temple at night! Isn't it gorgeous?
We drove back early Sunday morning and arrived just in time to see Joshua before his naptime...it was so good to see him. We missed him tons. But it was definitely good to spend time with just the two of us--we've been married for three years now, can you believe it? Thanks, Mom, for being willing to come up and stay with Joshua. I'm sure you enjoyed it immensely...he's an adorable kid. And to my dearest Cody, I love you! Here's to another three years, and hopefully many, many more!
Monday, August 17, 2009
I tried to get Joshua to take a picture with me a few days ago. This is what came out:
I was trying to get this smile out of him:Apparently he'll give the cheesy smile when it's just him, but he'd rather furrow his brow when he's in the same picture as his mommy. Silly kid.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Wendy, Shara, and I were all roommates for a few years from 2001-2003, when we all left on missions for our Church (me in Brazil, Shara in Taiwan, and Wendy in Albania). When we returned in 2005, we ended up in the same apartment complex for a year...then Wendy got married in May '06, I got married that August, and then Shara tied the knot earlier this year in April. These girls are seriously awesome. I have so many good memories with both of them and they have impacted my life greatly. I'm so glad that we've kept in touch and still get together when we can. Thanks, ladies!
Joshua really seemed to enjoy "playing" with Reece. It made me excited to see him as a big brother...no, I'm not announcing anything, but we are planning on it sometime in the future. :)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
A few months ago, we put a blanket in his crib, along with the stuffed bear we gave him for Christmas, but he never really did much with them, just moved them around in the crib while he slept on his stomach. Now, though, when we put him in the crib, he lays down on his back, makes it clear that he wants the blanket put over him, gets a huge smile on his face while he pats the covers, and then reaches out for the bear, which he hugs until we leave the room. I'm not sure what he does after that, but that's now the ritual. He's very particular, it seems. And adorable. I should get a picture of him laying there like that, but he'd probably be too eager to lay hold on the camera to go to sleep--and as all the parents of young ones out there know, we want to do as little as possible that would disturb his sleep.
By the way--I made it to work five minutes early again today by taking that alternate route. Yay! And thank you, Shara, for reminding me that construction people especially need work these days, and we should be glad for the snow that tears up the roads so badly they need to repair it every summer. :)
Monday, August 3, 2009
The main road I take is University Avenue, which has a speed limit of 50 mph. Not too shabby, eh? Well, unless there's road construction. Those orange barrels have become the bane of my existence this summer. I've been trying to avoid the hassle by taking another route, giving me a speed limit of 35 mph but mostly smooth sailing. This morning, though, I thought that I should give University Avenue another try.
Big mistake. I left at the normal time, 7:35am, which puts me at arriving to my office at BYU by 7:55 or so. However, thanks to the lovely road construction along University Avenue, I didn't arrive until 8:03am, where I was greeted by my boss, who hates it when the office isn't open by 8am (I'm in charge of unlocking the door), my assistant (who is always punctual), plus three professors who needed to talk to me. Wow. It had to be this morning...
Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful for those who keep the roads clean and in good condition, and I understand that it's virtually impossible to do it during the winter. But...well, it's just annoying, that's all, and I had to vent somehow. I guess I should just probably plan for a 25-30 minute commute for the time being, huh?