Sunday, December 28, 2008

Firsts Galore

Wondering why Bridgette has a bright pink gerbera daisy growing out of her forehead? Consider it a botony experiment. Or an ode to Gerber baby food. Or perhaps haute couture for a finicky costumer... no no... that was supposed to be customer. Ah so, just as well.

On to the post!

If you say it over and over again, "first" is a strange sounding word. We had ample opportunity to say first this week as both Bridgette and Piper experienced Christmas for the first time, and Bridgette also had her first baby-food. Success being attained, first baby-food was followed by firsts of all types of baby-food.

First first first first first. Odd.

And then there was first baby-food poo. (I could describe this in great detail, invoking all your senses. But I won't.)

We'll post some of this week's pictures, of course, and then drop a slideshow at the end for grandma-like people. If you are a grandma-like person, you are either one of Bridgette's grandmas, extremely sweet, or interested in viewing many photos. You don't have to be old.

Just so you know, we took LOTS of video. But we opted to spare you... this time.

However, if you want to see the cutest yet simultaneously most hilarious video in the world, just click this link to my friends' blog and watch the clip of their daughter: With a Bonk Bonk Here.

Series 1: Bridgette's very first bite of food.

"Yes? Did you want something?"
"What the...?!?"
"Wait a minute. That wasn't so bad."
"Mmmm. Pears."
"More! More!"
"I secretly wish Mom would take another picture."

Series 2: Photos that may require some explanation.

Bridgette's Christmas gift from Uncle Craig.
I will let you interpret her expression.
Chewy slept right through Santa's visit around 1 a.m.
We thought, "How darling! We'll wear Santa hats
and suspend Bri in a giant stocking between us."
She thought, "I am your DAUGHTER, not a TOY!"

Series 3: Slideshow of Johnson extended-family Christmas-Eve gathering followed by Jeff Johnson family Christmas-All-Day festivities. (Some Christmas Eve shots taken by Brenda.)
Picasa SlideshowPicasa Web AlbumsFullscreen

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Ah, snow.

It inspires some to poetry and sends others to mountainous slopes for wintry fun. I just look outside and say, "Ugh."

Cold. Wet. Slippery.
Low visibility.
Sliding cars.
No really.
Shoveling again.
Pretty for a day.
Layers & layers of clothes.
That get wet.
And cold.

In my fantasy world, I live on a warm sandy beach by a blue-green sea that has perfectly swimmable but not too tiny waves. There are lovely snow-covered mountains in the background that I never visit except by choice. In between is a wide rolling sward, mixed wild and tame. There are plenty of blooming cherry trees and magnolias, under which I walk with my pack of friendly dogs. I have lush lawns dappled (That's right. Dappled.) with exotic smelling flowers. These are tended by a slew of horticulture fairies, hand-selected and breeded for the purpose. Oh yes, and in the evenings they sparkle with magic and sing ethereal background music.

However, in the real world, I do my best to hibernate through the winter.

And lest you think I am a derelict mother who won't give her child sufficient opportunity to choose for herself, I think you should know I took Bridgette outside today and let her touch the snow. She agrees with me.

Photos from this week:

These two beauties are of me, Bri & the pups attempting to hibernate. If you want cuter pictures, please see last week's post. (Jeff snuck in the second one; we were so cozy!)

Here's some advance marketing on Bridgette's new jewelry line. Lately, any toy with a hole in the center ends up on her arm. Maybe next week she'll give you a sneak-preview of her bracelet called "fish."

I like this picture. I took one look at it and thought, "She looks older." Since I see her everyday, this rarely happens. But she does. She looks older.

Good daddy, Jeff. He does diaper & bag changes, cares for her when she's sick, feeds her bottles, tucks her in, reads her stories, gives her baths, and kisses and cuddles her all the time.

Although none of us top Chewy for making Bridgette laugh, Daddy takes a close second.

So, you already know that I'm not a big fan of snow. But the dogs love it, at least for a few days.

We came indoors shortly after this video was taken and within a few minutes the snow was really coming down hard.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

At Semester's End

This blog entry* is dedicated, at length, to those of you anxiously awaiting more pictures of Bridgette. We appreciate your loyalty.

*(If you take one quick scroll-through and come close to swooning, please at least make time for the first video of Bri laughing, found near the bottom. It's a keeper.)

Picasa SlideshowPicasa Web AlbumsFullscreen

The semester is over, and both mom and babe are chubby survivors! The advent of the end of classes is bittersweet. With a cohort of 10, we have grown close after cooperating for so many hours/ weeks/ months/ years in tight spaces. Bri and I will miss our friends. Some are already dispersing to other states and countries, and we wish them the best.

A few thoughts about the end:

As cumbersome as it was to pack an entire carload of supplies each morning to recreate "home" in the classroom, school did provide baby with an ever-entertaining environment. While I look forward to having an actual routine (imagine!) the lack of routine had a certain charm. Well, if not charm, then at least familiarity. (Is that possible? Can a lack of routine be familiar?) Plus, school helped me avoid the loneliness that seems inherent with the onset of motherhood.

I can also say that school helped us both learn new skills. For example, I'd like to see all of you "experienced" moms try to nurse in a tiny desk. And Bridgette is better than she might have been at sitting up because she's spent so much time at home sitting in my lap while I work at the computer. Just this morning she balanced upright with no support for a little over a minute.

Comment: We've noticed Bridgette almost always leans to her left. We're guessing it's because she has a hole in her side where the muscles are not connected.

Although my classmates have disbanded, school is certainly not over as now I open the throttle on my fieldwork and project, not to mention a certain independent study course. (Rosemary, if you're reading this, I haven't forgotten.)

And now... a great many events have transpired since last I wrote. Those of you who are not deeply invested in the details of our lives should stop reading here.

First, we had a bridal shower in early December for my friend Heather who is marrying in a few days and moving to France. As such, here is a photo of the girls in my cohort, minus Rachel who was unable to attend. I'll throw in a couple more zanies of my classmates in a future retrospective.

Next, Jeff and I spent our first night away from babs since her stay at Primary Children's Medical Center back in July.

The "other" Kelly Johnson kept our Bridgette safe and sound. It was such a blessing to have her help. Thanks so much!

We don't do much yet in terms of family traditions, but we like to take a family vacation each year. Since this was impossible in 2008, our overnighter became our mini-vacation. It was associated with the TGN Christmas party at the Zermatt Resort in Midway. TGN provided the evening's entertainment: food, magic & improv shows, polka performers, salsa dancers, and a casino. We won about $400 on the roulette wheel. Jeff put his chips on the exact right number, twice! After that, the woman next to us put her chips wherever Jeff did. But he lost the rest of the night, and she lost everything. It was pretty funny.

Sleeping-in was perhaps the best part of our time away. We missed breakfast and never noticed. After lunch at an adorable little restaurant, we went to Cascade Springs on Saturday afternoon (by way of a dirt road through snowy mountain pass).

The timing of our overnighter was the best and worst. I needed a break, denoted by truly excessive stress levels trying to get out of the house. However, it was also the weekend before my last week of school. I had so many major projects and presentations to complete that the time away was also one of my major stressors. I was about as high-strung as I could possibly get when we arrived in Midway but fortunately (for Jeff) calmed down after a couple of hours.

Picasa SlideshowPicasa Web AlbumsFullscreen

Four other events deserve mention. (That's right. Four. More. Events. If you're bored, I make no apologies. I warned you to stop.)

On Thursday we viewed the Body Worlds exhibit in SLC. The word "tremendous" comes to mind. There's nothing quite like real bodies/body parts plasticized and turned into works of art. I found it inspiring. Frankly, it's amazing that any of us are alive. Did you know that 10 tiny capillaries are not as thick as a human hair? We saw a body suspended in mid-air and made only of preserved capillaries. There were so many capillaries that the body looked like any other - so much detail! Although obviously educational, it also had a health bent that appealed to me. Displays compared the bodies of smokers to non-smokers and the fit to the unfit. There were also some explicit views of organs with tumors, cancers, and hemorrhages, etc.

Jeff's favorite displays were of the digestive system. Ironically, my favorite was a room that contained no bodies. At one point the exhibit leads you through a room full of 50 gallon barrels. I didn't count, but I'm guessing there were 36 of them, since the point was to show you that a single human heart pumps 1800 gallons of blood every day. Amazing! Bridgette's favorite display was everything. I held her in front of me in a seated position and whispered explanations in her ear.

Jeff and I both had birthdays this week (Saturday & Sunday). Because I turned the big 30, Jeff hosted a fiesta for me. It was a casual affair with folks coming and going from start to finish. We celebrated by playing very bad pool (on my part), big-screen movie-watching, and eating a yummy special-order cake with otherwise healthy vegetarian fair. Except for the fruit. Which was spiked. Yum!

We attended an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Saturday at our friends the Pew's. A great time was had by all, and we were impressed by some truly tacky Christmas costumes. Having no time to search the racks at D.I., we wore the only sweaters we owned and were grateful that no one wrote our names down in the ugly-sweater vote-off. We also made gingerbread, urm... I hesitate to call them "houses." Perhaps "concoctions" is more accurate. Ours was a teepee, complete with totem pole, chief cinnamon bear, and papoose.

Picasa SlideshowPicasa Web AlbumsFullscreen

The fourth event was the last final exam of my school career. My teacher asked us as a group to share 50 different creative teaching methods, then we exchanged touching gifts and had a feast. What a pleasant way to finish the year.

Which brings me to today! I'm obviously catching-up the blog, but I'm also eating cold Spaghettio's direct from the can, and I hope to put up a few decorations. Otherwise, Bri's baby book will have sadly non-festive photos inserted at tab "Baby's First Christmas."

Here's Bridgette getting a hilarious kick out of the dogs. Oh yes, with a great burp at the end.

This is Bridgette getting a kick out of Anthony.

This is Bridgette's first time at the dinner table.

And to end, we're playing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Penalty for Ruff Ruff Ruffness

Chewy and Piper got a little feisty and had to be separated. Luckily no pups were injured.

Bridgette is doing well - she turned five months old this Monday!

Kelly is ├╝ber busy with school (finals next week) and helping with Bridgette. She will likely add to my rather lengthy entry later, so in the meantime you are stuck with this teseract:


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Babe Loses Her Dinner

Guess what? I didn't feel sick after Thanksgiving dinner! Although I came close after eating two pieces of pie. Mmmmmmm... It was fun hanging out with the family and eating and talking. That's what Thanksgiving is all about - eating and talking.

We also took the pups to a park and Piper ran around crazy! Chewy ran around a little bit, but he was more interested in marking his territory...

I fed baby Bridgette some formula Sunday night and after a couple of hours she started throwing it all back up. There is nothing sadder than seeing such a sick baby. She is feeling much better and I just put her to bed with 8 ounces of the good stuff (breast milk).

Kelly was at school all day today so I got to stay home by myself a few hours with the dogs. It was good to see Kelly and baby when they came home though.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

That's me after finishing Thanksgiving dinner (taken by Brenda)

Uncle Paul holds baby Bridgette (taken by Brenda)

Uncle Paul holding Bridgette again (taken by Brenda)

Uncle Jon gets Bri to smirk

I think Kelly took this one of me, Kelly and Jon

What good pups!

Chewy dog is curious, Piper likes to lick

What a cute babe and momma

Baby Bridgette's first meal at the dinner table!

So cute and precious

Baby plays while we eat dinner

Cousin Lili and Bridgette

Lili sure loves her new cousin!

Picard wigs out and paints in the warp core breach

Data shows the shape that cannot exist in real time and will doom the Borg