Friday, March 27, 2009

Final Four

Here are our brackets, created many moons ago. You can tell because some of these teams are way gone. (Yeah, thanks a lot, Utah.) But we're being honest.

Kel's predictions:

Final Four -- Utah, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Xavier
Champion -- Connecticut

Jeff's predictions:

Final Four -- Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina, Louisville
Champion -- Louisville

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Almost no photos.

Yes, it's true. We made it through a week with almost no photos. Thank goodness for new outfits or the days would have expired camera dry.

Below is a photo of Jeff and Bri before church. J is wearing his March Madness tie and Bridgette's in her (new) sweet-cherry dress. Oh speaking of cherries! (Not really. Speaking of fruit.) Our apricot tree is blooming! I can see now why the kids' song exists. The apricot trees in Utah are the first trees to blossom in the spring.

I looked out the window and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
Spring has brought me such a nice surprise,
Popcorn popping right before my eyes.
I can take an armful and make a treat.
A popcorn ball that smells so sweet.
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to be
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

(Apricot tree not actually pictured.)

The week was busy but not too exciting which is why there weren't many photos. We managed to squeeze in a little more yardwork (followed by a treat at Baskin Robbins) before the snow hit Monday. Who knows, maybe it will be warm again by next weekend. Or maybe there will be more snow. Hard to predict.

Bridgette went to the doctor on Thursday about her extreme acidity. Her stoma had become very swollen and prolapsed, the stoma sores opened up, and her surrounding skin was being eaten up even more than usual. Now she's on a prescription antacid. We're hoping it helps her to be o.k. with Tummy Time and eating solids too, but the jury's still out.

In school news, my proposal passed, so I'm rushing to get everything done on my graduate project in the next three weeks. In fact, I've spent many hours already today and will spend many more this evening on project paperwork, scheduling, organizing, and interviewing. Writing this blog is my "break."

Also, I'm a TA for one of my professors which means I have the opportunity to teach classes at BYU from time to time. I really enjoy teaching a lot.

Yesterday I was able to teach my second ever graduate class - Health 606: Environmental Health Sciences. And...

...Bridgette came with me! Usually I find someone to watch her while I teach, but this time it didn't work out. It's easier to have her in class as a student than as a teacher, but we managed. Here we are on class day after we came home. Bri's wearing her (new) Easter overalls.

So I thought I would share two cute Bridgette-isms before signing off.

First, when she's thirsty, Bridgette looks directly at us, gulps and then gives us a breathy, "Aaaaah." She will do this over and over to make her point. It's excellent communication, really. We know exactly what she wants, and it's much better than whining or crying.

Second, at bedtime & naptime, Bridgette loves being tucked in. We lay her in her crib, and as soon as we pick up her blanket to stretch over her, she gets a big grin and wiggles all limbs. She grabs the blanket, pulls it up to her chin, licks it, then pulls it over her head. After a few seconds she brings it back down so that only her eyes show, and I swear they twinkle. A few moments later she pulls the blanket back under her chin and sucks on it in a lips-puckered-up, not slobbery way. And that is that. She falls asleep. No crying. She's just adorably happy with her blanket in her crib.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Draper Temple

Our adventure this week was to attend the Draper Temple open house with Jeff's brother, Mark, and his sister, Sarah.


We began by making reservations for a specific day/time (it was a very popular open house). At the appointed time, we drove to a specific church house, parked in a specific parking lot (ours was the BLUE lot,) waited in the gym with a few hundred other people, got called out by the bus load (literally,) watched a short film about temples, then took a bus ride (on the BLUE bus) to the temple itself. This was all in the name of traffic control. Once there, it was a walking tour through all the beautiful rooms. You can read more about the temple and see photos of the inside/outside here.

Per usual, Bridgette got a lot of attention. Although there were quite a few kids, not too many people ventured to the temple with their babies strapped on. In fact, Bri got so much attention that she's been sick ever since! There were a lot of people, and she was in close contact with more than one soul. She came down with a cold, and now she has a deep, wet cough. Poor babs.

Here is Jeff pointing to the BLUE sign for the BLUE bus. They emphasized our color so much (I'm sure they had a lot of people get on the wrong bus and get lost) that it became a running gag in our group. Here also, you can witness Jeff's really great frog tie. The frog tongue extends about a foot if you pull it.


Most of my week was busy tending a sick baby, but on Saturday, the weather was beautiful, so we did some more yardwork. I tried planting two blueberry bushes which are 100% not indigenous to Utah. I understand they are difficult to keep alive here, so I put them in individual pots to attempt to control acidity. I also planted a potato. One measly potato. It's an experiment.

Bri came out and enjoyed the sunshine for about 1/2 an hour.

The dogs liked the new obstacle in the yard and spent many a happy minute lapping the playpen.


I know. This is an odd photo to post. But I like it. It was so sunshiny that every time I asked Bridgette to look up for a picture, she closed her eyes. We have a lot of these.

To get any open-eye shots, I had to drop the camera down into the pen.


That's really all we did this week. (Besides getting locked out of the house... see previous post.) On Friday, I actually requested from Jeff that we stay at home all weekend and do nothing but play cards. (We managed one game of cards, spread between three days.) Truthfully, I'm a bit worn out and my sociality factor has diminished. Never fear, Spring is on its way, and we'll all be out and about soon enough.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Johnson Tales: The Case of the New Freezer

Freebie! Followers know I write on Tuesdays (usually), but I thought you might enjoy a little smidgen of a story...

On Thursday, I waited at home for our beautiful new freezer to arrive. The delivery people said they'd come sometime between noon and four, as delivery people often do.

Around 12:30 p.m. Bridgette goes down for a nap. To prevent the dogs from barking and waking her when the freezer men knock on the front door, I put them in the backyard.

Around 3:00 p.m. the freezer people knock. I ask them to wheel the freezer through the side gate, so they can put it in the basement by way of our walk-out entrance in the backyard. I say, "Please wait a moment while I unlock the gate."

Baby is still *gasp* asleep, and being an attempted good mommy, I lock the front door, so she'll be safe while I'm out back for a few minutes.

I go through the garage door into the backyard, wrangle the pups into the garage so they won't disturb the baby inside or the delivery men outside, then I unlock the gate.

The freezer people come through. They take the freezer to the basement door which, of course, is still locked. So I go back inside to unlock it.

But wait! There's a problem. The garage door locked behind me, so now we are all neatly partitioned. Baby is locked in the house. Dogs are locked in the garage. Mommy is locked out.

This is the first time I have locked myself out of anything.

I panic. Softly. First I go to the neighbors and borrow a cell phone. I call our friends down the street who have a spare key. No answer. I call my parents-in-law who have a spare key. No answer.

I panic a little more loudly and consider kicking in a window. But instead I call the police. 9-1-1 to be exact. I would have called the less "emergency" police number, but if you'll recall, I'm locked out and don't have a phonebook.

I think of my baby. If we're lucky, maybe she's still asleep. But maybe she's awake and hungry! Or, maybe she's awake and crying so hard she's dehydrating!! Or, maybe she's finally learned to roll-over and... and... walk at the exact same moment and she's currently scaling her crib to get to the Windex under the bathroom counter!!!

I casually get the mail and pretend to read it while waiting for a policeman to arrive. He does, and I ask if he picks locks. "No," he says, "But I do crawl in windows. Did you leave any open?"

Now, I admit, not everything in my brain has been working at top notch since this unplanned separation from my baby. But if a window had been opened, I would already be inside.

"No," I answer. "There are no open windows." Actually, it's much worse, there are no unlocked windows either. All the deadbolts are locked too, except the one on the garage door.

He asks me if I've tried to open it with a credit card. Umm... no. Ok. I can see why he asked if I had any open windows. I didn't even THINK about trying a credit card. But now that I was thinking about it, I realized they were all locked in the house.

He pulls out his wallet and fishes for a card flexible enough to do the trick.

Now remember, the dogs are in the garage. I warn him. I really do. "I have two dogs who are locked in the garage, and they've never been any trouble, but they don't know you, so I feel you should know."

I'm glad I said something.

The policeman picks the lock, and Chewy, my Border Collie mix -- the bigger, deeper voiced, more daunting of the two -- sees a man with a gun, takes one look at me, and decides it's a party. He leaps on us, gives me a kiss, notices the open gate, and opts to go exploring.

I'd stop him, but Piper, my Sheltie -- the small, adorable, fuzzy pup everyone loves -- has turned into a Rottweiler trained to kill. She decides it is NOT ok that a large armed stranger is breaking into our home. She decides that although I tell her it's ok, I am wrong.

No one dies. That is the happy outcome of this story.

Oh, and we got a freezer.


Epilogue:

The delivery men had to leave the freezer outside because, well, the doors were all locked. But Jeff and I wrestled it in when he got home from work. It is now filled with Costco goodies... like excessively large bags of frozen green beans.

When I rushed into baby's nursery, I found her awake and playing happily in her crib.

The dogs were overly excited the rest of the day. If you know my dogs, you are thinking right now that this is quite normal.

The policeman drove off before I could thank him, and I hope he felt like a hero when he went home to dinner that night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A weekend in the life...

Our week was somewhat typical, filled to overflowing with baby-care, baby-play, project/proposal work, fieldwork, work-work and a little MacGyver.

Our weekend was more eventful than typical because we managed to get out of the house more than once.

Friday: Mmm... date night with mom and dad. I'd like a spring roll and chow mein noodles please. Or... maybe just some bananas and milk.

Jeff's Fortune Cookie:
You will be traveling and coming into a fortune.
Kelly's Fortune Cookie:
This year your highest priority will be your family.
Bri's Fortune Cookie:
Focus on the color yellow tomorrow for good luck!

Saturday: Bridgette woke up Saturday morning with a biiiiiiiiiiiiiig wafer leak, so we started with a bath and bag change.

We took the cookie manufacturers at their word and dressed Bri in yellow. She certainly seemed happy at breakfast... until we tried to feed her. She's teething again. Still.

Her lucky yellow outfit certainly attracted a lot of attention at Home Depot, where I guess the employees don't see too many babies out picking up rubber mallets and paint supplies. Oh. Or helping choose a frost-free freezer! We're excited about that one. Soon those Costco purchases will have somewhere to live.

Bridgette's lucky day continued into the evening when she got to join us for weekend date #2, our first and last BYU sports outting since I've been back at BYU. We saw the Cougars play Air Force. BYU barely won. Although we clenched a three-way conference first-place tie, it may have been one of the lowest scoring games in collegiate history. I think we can safely attribute the win to Bridgette's lucky yellow outfit. It certainly wasn't the Coug's steady shooting.

Bridgette behaved well during the game, considering tip-off was at a precise intersect with bedtime. She was enthralled with basketball, amused by the crowd, fascinated by the Cougarettes and disinterested in all things cheerleading. Pretty much my daughter.

I was lucky to get this BYU three on camera, mostly because it actually sunk. Such a rarity that night.


Sunday: On Sunday, careful observers will note the yellow outfit under Bri's blue dress. We weren't really focusing on luck anymore, but we were a little lazy.

In case you're interested, Bridgette decided to start talking on Sunday. Talking should probably be written as "talking," but still, it was a sudden change from grunts and yells to slightly recognizable babble. We were on our way to our friends' home Sunday to play a silly game called Quelf (which we highly suggest to all those who love party games) when Bridgette busts out with, "Dad-Dad-Daddy!" Should've seen Jeff's face! If we'd gotten a photo, it would've received a post to itself.

Speaking of talking, I've noticed we call Bridgette almost everything but her name. She has nicknames galore:

Bri
Babs
Babby
Honey
Bridge
Cheeks
Pumpkin
Baby Girl
Shnook'ems
Sweet Face
Sweet Muffin
The Little Girl
Munchkin Face
Sillysaurus Rex
Precious Monkey
Fussers Johnson
Miss Crabby Pants
The Stout Little Woman

I wonder how long it will take her to learn her own name. We're so inconsistent.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Square Root Day 3.3.09

Mom called it. Last week I said it was National Square Root Day. I lied. But today IS a real square root day, and math fans everywhere have waited 5 years for this momentous occasion. How are you celebrating square root day? We're thinking of eating square pizza.

The photo below shows off our mountain. I took this while picking Jeff up from work this week; it's the view from his building, and I thought the lighting was exquisite. In real life the shadows were much deeper, but without taking the time to change shutter exposure, this is what I got.

There is a legend that Timpanogos was named for an Indian maiden who died of grief after her lover was killed, since the top (if you look JUST right) resembles the profile of a sleeping woman.

Of course, Timp is a lot of people's mountain. We live a bit left of the frame, near the base. Timp is the second highest mountain in Utah. It is 300 million years old and graciously hosted many Olympic events a few years ago. It currently hosts Robert Redford's famous Sundance Resort/Film Festival. It has a delicate mountain ecosystem including a cave I've always wanted to tour. As a hiker of Mt. Timp (yes, I have been to the tippy-top), the word delicate reminds me of my run-in with a family of bull moose on a dusky return a few years back. Those extremely large, and might I add frighteningly agile, mammals didn't seem too delicate to me.


In family news, Bridgette is not only sleeping again but also gaining weight and growing. She was about 17 1/2 lbs yesterday and appears to have grown 1/2 an inch in the last week. At this rate, we are hopeful to have her pull-thru operation in May.

I would like to have my knee surgery at least several weeks before her surgery, but that's where everything gets iffy. We have so much to schedule in such a short period of time. We wish for her to be finished with surgery, healed, and ready to travel to Ohio in late summer to finally meet her extended family! We'd like to correlate the trip with a Hirschsprung's awareness event we think will be scheduled in Cleveland in August.

Here is Bridgette with Dad's shoe... which is about the same size as her. Jeff set her here prior to church, and I was a bit surprised to see her strength as she wielded the shoe with apparent ease. Then sucked on it. Ewww.

If this isn't the cutest picture on earth, I don't know what is. Well, o.k. It's just that I happen to love these two people very much. It clouds my objectivity. Look carefully, and you can see three of Bridgette's teeth.

A couple more sleeping shots because... have I mentioned she's sleeping? And how better to sleep than first to be fed, kissed, and left alone, surrounded by your toys.


Umm... a little boring. But I like her. So here's a shot of Bridgette sleeping in the car. I took this immediately after the mountain posed for me.

And here is Bri with the Cat in the Hat. Picture #1 is obviously unnatural. Getting both faces looking towards me took multiple tries and resulted in a lot of funny photos. In picture #2 you will see Bridgette showing off her favorite part of every stuffed animal.


To herald my favorite time of year, I did some yardwork Saturday. Yes, it was still too cold. No, I didn't need to do it so early. But the sun was out, the trees were barely budding, and my soul woke up with the rest of the herbacious world. Then I hacked at the herbacious world so it wouldn't take over my house.

Bridgette joined me for a few minutes (it really was too cold), and we tried out our new carrying system. It got four thumbs up for overall convenience and comfort. We were even able to slip her pants over the whole contraption. I will say, however, that after a short time my back really started to hurt... and I was reminded why a 10 month pregnancy is truly ineffable.

Last, here we are at Grandma & Grandpa Johnson's home for a family dinner Sunday night. The Johnson cousins were all there, and Bridgette got plenty of attention, especially from Tyler, Ellie, and Lili. Lili was very loving and regularly checked on Bridgette while she was sleeping to be sure she was happy. Bri got a lot of Lili kisses, and a few hugs.


Ellie got a really big Lili hug that lasted until the moment overcame them and they fell into the couch.

And with that cuteness, I sign off.

Until next week!