Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Playing Tourist

It FINALLY feels like Spring! It was a long winter that seemed to push its way into Spring. Seriously, 3 months of winter is too much at times, but adding a few more months has been painful! Here, our winters are full force. We get heavy snow storms, cold and I mean COLD temperatures, wind, ice, and frost. So I always look forward to the warm weather.

We have had pockets of nice weather. One day we were tempted with temperatures in the 50s and we were in heaven and the next day it would be windy, snowing and cold again.

It seems that Spring has finally arrived so we took that opportunity for our family night and decided to be tourist in our own city. It was fantastic! We only had time to explore the #1 tourist attraction in Salt Lake City, Temple Square. Perhaps we will have more nice days and play tourist at other sites. Any suggestions on what you would like to see?

Eduardo and Livy at the true center of the city. This is where the entire city is mapped out from. For those who have been to Salt Lake City, you may remember that the streets and city blocks are very square and large.
Temple Square was filled with gorgeous gardens. If I could only get my gardens at home to look this good! Of course they must have several gardeners to do the work.

Livy and I in front of the Salt Lake Temple.
A vibrant orange Iceland Poppy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Must have learned it from the dog!

My sweet Livy certainly gives me a "run for my money." She is a "trouble maker" "social butterfly" "busy bee" and has more energy then a room full of California Seagulls getting ready to feast on Mormon Crickets.

Today as I sit here working on my computer, Livy is in the living room making more messes and causing more trouble. She is taking LARGE sips of water out of her cup, spitting it out on the coffee table and then licking it off of the table.

I am happy that she is active and wants to explore, but licking water off of the table!? What will people think when they come over? They will either think that I haven't taught her how to drink from a cup or two that we let her run wild. Neither of these are the case.

The only thing that I can say is "This is my child that we are talking about!" At this point, not much really surprises me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why should it matter?!

I am in an bi-racial marriage. Of course, I NEVER look at it like that. I do not see Eduardo as being anyone except for my companion, friend, and husband. I have never worried how people would view me by being in this kind of relationship and I honestly don't understand why it should matter. It is not like Eduardo is an alien with a tail.

When we first married and started to try for our family, I worried that my children would be treated differently. I wondered if they would be teased in school for having a Hispanic last name or for having darker skin. (Olivia's skin is as fair as mine.)

I have worried if Eduardo would have problems finding a good job because someone couldn't face the fact that he wasn't born here. Even though Eduardo was born and raised in Venezuela, he is an American Citizen (and proud of it), a college graduate and an honestly good person.

Again I never really worried about how I would be treated. Today, I learned that I have been hurt by someone being prejudice against me. It would have happened nearly four years ago and I am just now learning of this. I can't give any specifics because some of you know this person.

I do want to say that I am hurt that someone could treat me differently because of who I married. It shouldn't matter if we looked different when we first moved in. Why not get to know us and see that we are good people. I'm sure that we have proven ourselves by now.

And to stress my point and for a reminder for everyone, not all Hispanic people are Mexicans. Please stop calling them Mexicans unless you know for a fact that they are from Mexico. Remember that there is good and bad in every community and you can NOT judge an entire "race" by the deeds of one person.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Feed the birds

On Monday we feed the birds (Canadian Geese, ducks and California Seagulls) and had a little bit of park time as well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Baby Sign

I have always been obsessed with parenting. Years before I had children I would read parenting books & magazines and take classes. I would say it was for daycare, but I really was doing it for my future children. Odd, I know! I knew that when I was finally blessed with children that I wanted to teach them as much as I could. I was intrigued by different videos that I checked out from the library like teaching your baby to read and on baby sign.

A small part of me was hesitant about teaching baby sign and felt that it was one more thing for me to do to produce another "super baby." Naturally as a mother I want my baby to be the smartest, but I realize that she is only 13 mns and has a long time until she is expected to do many things. As I read about the benefits of teaching your child sign, I knew that I wanted to do this.

According to Eileen Ladino, here are 5 reasons to teach sign language to hearing children.
1. help babies talk sooner . . . and boost spoken vocabulary
2. empower babies to direct adults' attention to what they want to talk about
3. reduce frustration
4. provide a strong foundation for early literacy
5. stimulate intellectual development

Signing for us hasn't been a very easy task. Last September, Olivia (when she was 6 mns) and I took a 12 week Baby Sign Language course at the University. By the end of the semester, Olivia had one sign; music. I honestly felt very disappointed that she wasn't signing more and thought that possibly because her verbal language is through the roof that she wouldn't sign. Heidi, our sign teacher, told us about one of her students that could understand sign but refused to sign back. I continued to sign as much as a I could. Some days more then others. It always seemed that when I would start to slack, Livy would sign a new word and I would be motivated to sign more. At first she would add a new sign once a month or so and now it is nearly every day. It is so exciting and rewarding to see her communicate with me. Frustration levels are down and we are all much happier then I could imagine without sign. Just the other day she took my hand and headed to the pantry and signed more. She wanted a snack.

She can sign: pig (her latest), horse, cat, dog, cow, bear, bird, duck, phone, fan, baby, stinky (as in poopy diapers), music, ball, brush teeth, brush hair, more, book, milk, please, bath, mom, dad, wash hands, and bye-bye (that's a sign right?!).

I mainly try to sign different things throughout the day. It is recommended to teach your child three basic signs to begin with: more, eat and milk. I also will turn on the Signing Time videos once in a while. My only problem with Signing Time is that the songs are super catchy and I will wake up humming them at 2am!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cats do not belong in cars!

On Tuesdays we attend a playgroup. It has been a great way to get out of the house and yes, I do pack up all of the daycare kids and take them.

It is always a hassle to get the kids ready by putting on shoes and jackets. And dragging them out to the minivan (ah! It comes out....I drive a minivan! The horror!) figuring out which car seat for which kid, getting them buckled and keeping them buckled and trying to drive around the block before I loose my sanity. Honestly, I think I lost that a long time ago. 6 years of doing daycare can do that to a person.

So on Tuesday after we went through our normal routine of kicking and screaming, we were finally on our way to the playgroup. I got to the end of my street when I realized I had one extra passenger that I did not intend to take with me. There on the back seat was the cat! He must have snuck in while I was buckling up the kids. He didn't really seem to mind and for a moment I thought about taking him with us. The playgroup is right around the corner from us and I'm sure he could find his way home or even wait in the car. It really was his own fault for being in the car. But reason caught up with me and I turned around to take the cat home. I pulled him out, took him inside where he moped for the day.

Oscar de la Kitty

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Not a Dinosaur!

Yesterday evening we went to the Utah Museum of Natural History. Livy did surprisingly good. I always worry that she will scream or act out while we are in public. Even though my opinion of children has changed since I became a mother, there are still somethings that I can not stand. That would be unruly children that obviously the parents are doing nothing about. I know that children will be children, but when they are in public running around, screaming and continuously bumping into you something needs to be done about it. This is a completely different topic for a completely different day.

So at the museum we saw lots of rocks, fossils and bones. There was a large collection of Native American artifacts, specifically the Indians that live in Utah. From the Freemont to the Ute and Navajo.

Livy was fascinated with the temporary exhibit of Wild America. The exhibit talked about different wildlife refuges in the U.S. starting with Pelican Island in Florida to various ones in Alaska. Livy could care less about that, what she loves was seeing the taxidermy pelicans, grizzly bear, elk, ducks, cranes and wolf. She did correctly sign bear. (*Proud Moment*)

The largest exhibit was of the Dinosaurs. Not nearly as impressive as Dinosaur National Park in Vernal, but still very interesting.

There was one exhibit that caught my attention. It had a large sign saying, "Not a Dinosaur."
"Despite what you might expect, this extinct animal is not a dinosaur. Dimetrodon had sharp serrated teeth and strong jaws for tearing flesh, and like T. rex it was the top carnivore of its time. However, Dimetrodon actually lived millions of years before T. rex during the Early Permian Period (about 275 million years ago) and is an early relative of mammals, so it is more closely related to you then to T. rex!"

So this is a Dimetrodon---

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I Love Lucy!

Eduardo has taught my sweet baby a new word, or rather a phrase.

All day I have heard... Aye, Aye, Aye (You know, like what Ricky would say to Lucy).

Friday, April 4, 2008

To Love a Coat

Livy has never really had a "lovey", something that she packs around. I have given her dolls and left out blankets, but nothing compared to her thumb. She has been a thumb sucker from a very early age. That is her only true comfort until now. She is obsessed, let me repeat, obsessed with coats and jackets.

It used to be that the first thing that she asked for in the morning was for me to turn on some music. I would pull her out of her crib and her little arm would start to sign music. Now she points to the closet and says multiple times, coat....coat....coat...coat.

I will indulged this new love and put on her coat or jacket. Then she will head into the living room to the coat rack and point to the jacket there. coat....coat....coat...coat. She wants to wear another coat, on top of the previous one.

We will go throughout our day and she will see my coat in my closet, or Eduardo's coat and it will start all over again. coat....coat....coat....coat. She wants to wear our coats!

This has certainly been an interesting love for her.

On top of this, she also has a passion for purses and bags.

What is your child's "lovey"?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to me, or maybe not

It is my birthday today and I honestly don't feel like celebrating. I have been depressed all day and in tears each time I think of that poor girl and her family. I can't help but think that we live is such a cruel world.

Last night, after I got the horrible news, the only thing that I could console myself with was the thought of going to sleep and for those few short hours escaping the world.

I will try to get my mind off of it by going shopping with Livy. I doubt that will help. Possibly tonight with the Girls Night Out group that I attend with some church friends. But I am sure that our conversation will lead to the topic that I will want to avoid.